National Nursing Week: Interview with Josée Prévost
On the National Nursing Week, we met with Josée Prévost, Director of Nursing (DON) at L’AVANTAGE in Brossard, to talk a little about her job. Interview with a compassionate woman
Ms. Prévost, tell us a bit about yourself. Was becoming a nurse a definite career decision?
Absolutely. When I was five, my mother asked me to choose my first Barbie doll. I picked one who was dressed as a nurse. I have known for a very long time that I wanted to become a nurse. During my studies, I was repeatedly told that the environment was highly competitive, but that didn’t stop me.
Was working in a residence for seniors a desire or an opportunity?
It was a bit of both. I first worked in the public sector, but found it frustrating not to be able to spend much time with each patient. What I like about my current job is that, despite the fact that there is a lot to do, I can take the time to embrace a more humane approach and talk with the residents, their families, and my staff.
What are you most passionate about in your job?
The difference we make with people. It’s a gift to us all when a close relative of a resident tells us that she can finally sleep since her mother is with us at the Signature care unit. In one form or another, this is the kind of surprise we get every day. I really feel like I’m helping improve the quality of life of the residents. It’s rewarding.
Do you feel that things have changed since you started practising?
Of course. The nurse’s role is much more proactive today. I have been a nurse for 35 years. At the beginning of my career, we were working mostly behind the scenes. Nowadays, we have a role to play in the assessment, screening, and prevention of health problems. It’s truly energizing. A bond of trust now exists between doctors and nurses. The relationship is much less hierarchical. Also, new technologies such as SOFI (French only), which is a great tool, have been introduced at Le Groupe Maurice residences. As a result, our workload has decreased, which is now allowing us to be more efficient.
What is your role outside the Signature care unit?
My team is as involved with autonomous residents as they are with the Signature care unit when it comes to medication management or changing dressings.
We also have to be good listeners. Residents often consider us as confidants. They sometimes tell us things they wouldn’t say to their children so as not to worry them. We must always respect their decisions. We also have a lot to learn from seniors. I deeply admire their resilience.
Is there anything important to you that you want to share with us?
A director of nursing is nothing without a team. My role is a bit like being a conductor. We can accomplish great things if all the musicians play together. I’m blessed to have this team. I have a lot of respect for them, and vice versa. We always look in the same direction: respect for the residents, attention to their wants and needs, and a humane approach.
Thank you for your work, your generosity, and your benevolence. All the best for the future, Ms. Prévost!
Visit the Canadian Nurses Association website to learn more about the National Nursing Week.