Lisa: Care, Compassion and a New Challenge Every Day
Lisa Mathews was working two jobs when she realized she wanted more out of life — and her work. She was looking for a steady job where she could continue to learn, grow and be challenged in a positive way. After some research into different careers, she decided nursing would be the best fit.
It wasn’t an easy change to make. Lisa had to first upgrade a few high school courses and she continued to work to support herself while attending nursing school. As she looks back at her journey now, she realizes that she has achieved so much more than just a “steady job.” She has found a career where she makes a difference in peoples’ lives. Despite the work being difficult some days, Lisa describes it as incredibly fulfilling.
As a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at a hospital in the Fraser Valley, Lisa’s role has her moving throughout the facility — from attending the Emergency Room to accompanying a patient being transferred by ambulance to a specialist appointment.
“A typical day doesn’t exist at my job,” she laughs. “I work shift work — usually 12 hours. When I walk through the door, I have to be ready for anything — and I am.” Lisa adds that the variety is the best part, “One of the things I love about my job is that each day is so different.”
As for working during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lisa explains that while much has changed — especially for health care workers directly treating COVID-19 patients — in other ways, some things have stayed the same. For hospital workers, regular handwashing, wearing masks, using hand sanitizers and deep cleaning high-traffic areas happens every day. They are aware of how infectious diseases can spread and they do everything they can to minimize that risk.
She points out it’s hard for patients in the hospital who can’t have family members, stating, “That might be one of the more difficult things It is heartbreaking to see people who are sick and unable to find comfort in a hug from a family member.”
As a nurse, Lisa is often with people, patients and families on some of the most difficult days of their lives. “There are multiple layers to the work that I do. What some people don’t realize is that there is also an emotional piece to my job. I treat people who are in pain and who may be really scared. It is important that as a nurse, no matter what I am feeling, they see me as calm and capable and that they feel confident that I am there to help them. That is a big part of the work that I do,” she says.
Lisa is committed to reaching out to help new nurses. She remembers the people who went out of their way for her and how much that support meant. She explains, “I am grateful for the people who took the time for me. My goal is to do the same for others. In fact, I see it as my responsibility. One small act of kindness, support or show of compassion can make a huge difference in someone’s life. That’s important to remember.”
In her spare time, Lisa has found great ways to relax and re-energize. Lisa, her partner and their rescue dog regularly hike, camp and spend time in nature. The physical demands of the hike let her burn off some of the stress from work. She also kayaks, runs and loves to cook. Lisa believes that it’s important to enjoy life outside of work stating, “It helps to keep you balanced in all aspects of your life.”
Are you interested in pursuing a career in healthcare? Right now, LPNs are in high demand in British Columbia. Check out the LPN Career Profile to learn more.