Karen Rose, Registered Nurse, North York General

A familial bond with NYGH

I knew of North York General Hospital (NYGH) first as my mother’s place of work. I’d come to the premises to meet her after she finished her duties for the day as a nurse in the maternal unit. I used to look up at the building then with wonder and admire my mother’s work as she helped people feel better. Watching my mother inspired me to join the NYGH family.

A workplace for over 30 years

I’ve been a registered nurse at NYGH for over three decades and have worked on various floors and areas of the hospital. To put it simply, I’m the one who asks about the patient’s medical history, does bloodwork and the ECG, and everything else that goes into ensuring patients are all ready for surgery.

The one thing that has remained constant in all this time is the kindness and love of the people I work with every day. Some of my fondest memories are of sitting at the nursing desk during a break, catching up on how our families and children are doing. The hospital truly has been the best place to work for me. I’ve made friends, received support from my colleagues when times were tough, and celebrated with my co-workers at functions and life events.

A painful pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful and hard for us all. Working as a nurse through a public health crisis has been exhausting.  It’s also been difficult that families of patients haven’t been able to see their relatives or take care of them while they go through illnesses.

But the hardest of all has been losing my father during this time. The hospital was the place that cared for my father during his illness. The staff at the Seniors’ Health Center and those at the hospital’s Short-Term Rehab (5 West), looked after my father tirelessly until the day he passed away. When our family couldn’t come to visit him, due to the COVID-19 precautions at the hospital, they treated him like family.

Giving back to the hospital

I signed up for the staff lottery when I saw emails and posters promoting it. I feel that it is an important way to give back to the hospital. It is also a way by which I can make a difference in the lives of patients like the ones I meet every day. I want to save the money I’ve won to travel, at a time when it is safe.

— Karen Rose