Constant vigilance with the patient

For the Order of Nurses of Quebec (OIIQ), access to quality health care when the patient needs it is a priority. In pursuit of this goal, the OIIQ relies on optimal use of nursing expertise where professional competence, autonomy and collaboration are a source of daily motivation.

Complex cases, those that require constant attention: Marie-Élène Coulombe has made her daily. As an intensive care nurse, she is passionate about situations that allow her to fully apply her knowledge and skills, and to apply her clinical judgment to a variety of patients.

For the past five years, Marie-Élène has been working part-time at CHU Sherbrooke. Assigned to the intensive care unit, the bachelor’s nurse confirms feeling in her element. “I have time to know and care for the patient and their family. I find myself in an environment that combines both human and technological dimensions. The cases are difficult, very diverse, and call on all my expertise, “she says.

La qualité du lien thérapeutique est bien entendu intimement liée au type de suivi offert, lequel ne concerne simultanément, pour l’infirmière aux soins intensifs, qu’une ou deux personnes. La professionnelle assure ainsi une vigie constante auprès du patient, dont la condition est instable et peut se détériorer rapidement. Son impact est concret et implique à chaque instant un renouvellement du processus d’évaluation physique et mentale.

“My role requires knowing the patient from head to toe,” says Marie-Élène Coulombe. In particular, I have to do laboratory follow-ups and adjust the medication so that the person always stays within the correct medical parameters. It is also necessary that I adapt my interventions taking into account the links to be made between the various pathologies … All this requires a very good management of the stress! ”

Marie-Élène Coulombe, intensive care nurse at Sherbrooke University Hospital
Marie-Élène Coulombe, intensive care nurse at Sherbrooke University Hospital
Between autonomy and teamwork
While benefiting from a great deal of professional autonomy and strong leadership, the ICU nurse makes a valuable contribution to the team in which she is integrated. Marie-Élène reveals that she maintains excellent contact with physicians and appreciates the inter-professional collaboration that prevails in her workplace. Through the training it offers, the OIIQ also participates in consolidating its role.

“There are so many different clinical situations,” commented the principal. Whether it is a heart attack or another emergency, one must take specific actions to save the patient’s life and the care to be given is very diverse. These include, of course, affected families, and this human function-related component adds to the technological support associated with critical care nursing expertise. ”

“My role requires knowing the patient from head to toe! ”
– Marie-Elene Coulombe

Specialized care
Management of a ventilated and intubated patient, cardiac monitoring, installation of arterial cannulas, haemofiltration, cooling protocol, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation-a technique that offers both cardiac and respiratory assistance: the placement and Follow-up treatment by intensive care nurses is complex and highly specialized. Due to the precarious state of the patients, it can happen that a group of two or even three to provide certain care is required.

“My work is rewarding, motivating, and the relationship that is woven with the patient and his family is very special. A bond of trust is created quickly, a link that is maintained through our skills and comforting words. The many thank you cards we receive bear witness to this. In the face of people, we also read this recognition and sometimes, several years later, we hear about the difference we have made in people’s lives, “Marie-Élène concludes.

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