Erica Donaldson, Registered Nurse, North York General

Meet Erica Donaldson

Erica Donaldson is a Registered Nurse at North York General Hospital (NYGH) and the latest winner of the hospital’s staff lottery. Our dedicated staff participate in the lottery as a fun way to give back to the hospital’s greatest needs such as equipment updates, technology advancements and expanded areas. We wanted to learn about these winners and profile how they deliver exceptional care to patients every day. Learn more about Erica below.

How long have you worked at NYGH?

Thirty-two years. I started working at the Branson site when it was a separate hospital and continued to work at NYGH when the two hospitals merged in 1998.

Where do you work in the hospital?

I work in the Mother and Baby Unit.

Can you briefly describe your role?

I am a charge nurse, looking after staff and post-partum patients. I coordinate the care provided by Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses on the unit. Tasks are assigned based on their scope of practice. I also participate in patient care. Every day, I speak to each patient individually to understand if their needs are being met and if other health care professionals (such as a physician or social worker) need to see them.

Why did you decide to work at NYGH?

I went to Humber College for nursing and just before graduation, a friend of mine in the program told me that Branson was hiring. She said, “let’s go and fill out an application.” I was hired and started working in medicine. After the hospital merged with NYGH, I was asked to move to the main site in 2000 and had the opportunity to work in the Mother and Baby Unit, which I had always wanted to do.

What has been your most memorable moment at NYGH?

When I started at the unit, I was looking after a mom and her baby. I taught her how to take care of herself post-partum, showed her the basics of how to breastfeed, and explained what to expect in the days ahead with her baby. I took the time to answer all her questions. She appreciated the care I provided, and she made me a small ceramic heart with my name on it. It was so touching. I display the keepsake in my kitchen where I can see it each day.

What do you like about working at NYGH?

I like working on the Mother and Baby Unit because it’s a happy place to work. The staff work well together and approach caring for our patients as a team. Also, I’ve always loved nursing and I find the work very fulfilling.

Do you have a hobby that you like to do outside of work?

My hobbies include cooking, singing and gardening. I’m from Jamaica so I like to cook West Indian food. I also go to church regularly and enjoy contemporary Christian music. I will turn on my Alexa device and sing along to Christian songs. When it comes to gardening, I like anything that blooms – especially hibiscus. Although the hibiscus is an outdoor plant, I put one in a container indoors and it survived. Now I’ve replanted it outdoors and it’s thriving. I also want to mention that I love to spend time with my grandchildren. I take them to the water park, tell them stories, read to them, and even just sit with them. Family is so important.

Why did you decide to join the staff lottery, besides the chance of winning?

I thought it was a good initiative to support. The lottery brings funds into the hospital that help maintain the excellent care we provide at NYGH.

You’ve won Fortune Friday once before. Was it a surprise to win again?

Yes, it was. I would say I am blessed. I was praying to win because I wanted to help a couple in Jamaica who are both blind. The wife is in the hospital, and I will be able to contribute more to their care because I won the lottery. I will also be contributing to my church and using some winnings to renovate my bathroom.