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The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) is a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) candidate, poised to be officially designated as a BPSO in 2018.

BPSOs are health care and academic organizations selected by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) to implement and evaluate its internationally acclaimed best practice guidelines (BPGs). Evidence from these BPGs will be rolled into standards of practice across the hospital to improve patient experiences and outcomes.

Meet the faces of BPSO at TSH as they share what these guidelines mean for patients, the hospital, and the community through a BPSO Q&A series.

Strategies to Support Self-Management in Chronic Conditions

Candace Roker, Social Worker/Education Coordinator, Centre for Complex Diabetes Care (CCDC)/Social Work Department

A social worker for 16 years, Candace (CR) has worked in a variety of settings in the social service and health sectors. She joined the TSH team in September 2012, and provides psychosocial assessment, counselling, and self-management coaching for patients with complex diabetes, and coordinates placements for Master of Social Work students completing practicums at TSH.

On the Job

TSH: Did you always want to work in health care?

CR: I always had an interest in health care; however, when I started my career, there weren’t many opportunities available at that time back home in Nova Scotia. After moving to Ontario, I finally had a chance to work in health care in a community health centre. Navigating the health care system can be a very challenging and vulnerable time for patients and I enjoy supporting them through the process.

TSH: Why did you become a BPSO Lead?

CR: A large part of my role in the CCDC involves self-management coaching and I’m happy to have the opportunity to work with my fellow co-leads and BPG team members to help spread the work across the organization.

TSH: In your eyes, how does BPSO candidacy and your BPG work impact patient care?

CR: BPSO candidacy recognizes that TSH is committed to evidence-based patient care, and that our patients can trust that they will receive high quality care when they arrive here. By implementing Strategies to Support Self-Management in Chronic Conditions, we are creating a framework to build on the great work we are already doing in this area.

Off the Clock

TSH: Who would play you in a movie?

CR: Kerry Washington.

TSH: If you could have any super power what would you choose?

CR: I would love to be able to grant wishes, like a fairy godmother or genie in a bottle.

Juanita MacIsaac, Patient Care Manager, Cardiology

Juanita (JM) joined the TSH team in 1983 as a new graduate nurse. Her love of nursing is evident through her dedication to ongoing learning, her experience working in many nursing specialties, and her talent for engaging with patients and families in her previous role as Clinical Resource Leader (CRL) for Cardiology and Critical Care, and her current role as Patient Care Manager of Cardiology.

On the Job

TSH: Did you always want to work in health care?

JM: I always wanted to be a nurse and have enjoyed the journey. Even today, it is still what I want to do. I can’t even think of doing something else. The variety in nursing specialties, flexibility of shifts, and the rewards that you receive from the nursing profession are what keep me and so many others in nursing.

TSH: Why did you become a BPSO Lead?

JM: Health care practices are constantly changing and we need to be able to provide the care that patients expect and need. Becoming a BPSO Lead provides me the opportunity to ensure best practice in cardiac care is given and sustained. Our patients are intelligent; well-versed in their diagnosis and care needs. We need to be able to deliver current, exceptional care to them.

TSH: What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?

JM: Think of the patient lying in that bed as a member of your family and how you would like them to be treated and informed of their condition. This has kept me grounded and focused on the patient. This is why I am here. To educate, be present, and provide compassionate care.

Off the Clock

TSH: Rules to live by:

JM: Be true to yourself. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Treat others like you would like to be treated.

TSH: Name the first concert you ever went to.

JM: Rod Stewart.

Janett Black, Clinical Resource Leader, Nephrology

Janett (JB) joined the TSH team in February 2013, and provides evidence-based support and education to patients and families. Her role also includes assessing staff learning needs in alignment with standards, expectations and practice guidelines, as well as mentoring and coaching.

On the Job

Did you always want to work in health care?

Absolutely – and specifically, as a nurse. When I was about eight or nine years old, I was admitted to the hospital where I met a nurse who I thought was the gentlest, kindest, and smartest person. I guess she made quite an impact on me because shortly after my discharge, I kept telling my parents that I wanted to be a nurse like her when I grew up. I have never wavered from this conviction, after 27 years of nursing.

Why did you become a BPSO Lead?

The idea of providing care to patients from a best-evidence platform is what intrigued me. As a BPSO Lead, I can leverage and critically appraise the great work that exists in the implementation units, in alignment with the RNAO best practices. I can also inform and influence patient care.

Off the Clock

Early bird or night owl?

I am definitely an early bird. I believe there is something to be said for getting up early and looking forward to a brand new day that you have never experienced before. Someone once said that “the early bird catches the worm.” Rising early positions me to strategically plan my day and consciously make every effort to do my best for that day.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?

One of the best compliments I ever received was from a patient I cared for when I was a frontline nurse. He told me that my ability to genuinely care for and go “above and beyond” for my patients was evidence that I was not in nursing just for a pay cheque. That spoke volumes to me!

What is your favourite movie or book?

My favourite book is Jane Eyre by Emily Brontë. While this book was turned into a movie, I prefer the book because I found its account to be a more credible reflection of the century it was written in. The account of Jane’s life reminds us that no matter what obstacles life throws at us, we will emerge on the other side of it with more strength, wisdom, and resilience to face future challenges, as long as we are able to determinedly persevere through them.