Taryin Tappin, Nurse, North York General Hospital

Nursing moms and their babies to good health

Anxious mothers, animated babies, and amazed fathers. These are the groups of people I meet every day at North York General as part of my work. Caring for them and helping educate them has been part of my day-to-day life for the past 9 years. I am a nurse in the Mother & Baby Unit.

Work and beyond

The first few days of parenthood can be some of the most confusing and emotional times for new parents. Easing their worries is where I come in. Answering questions about breastfeeding, teaching mothers how often infants have to be fed, what tests they must be taken to, and when, are all part of my job.

When I’m not working, I love to sing and I’m part of the worship team at my church. I usually sing in a band, but you can often find me singing at my workstation too! Music helps keep me motivated, and at times even helps me put fussy babies to sleep!

Caring for families amid a pandemic

The pandemic enhanced what my work truly meant. The COVID-19 restrictions at the hospital forced partners to leave new moms alone within hours of giving birth.  With no family to support them, and visitors restricted due to hospital precautious, my colleagues and I often went the extra mile to take care of patients, not only physically but emotionally too. In addition to sharing maternity advice, we lent a listening ear to new moms and tried to take some of their worries away. We doubled up as the families for these mothers when they couldn’t have any nearby.

A bond of care

The stories of many patients have remained engrained in my heart. I took a photo with a new baby during my first year at NYGH, and that infant is now 8 years old! Some couples remember my care during their first pregnancy when they return to the hospital for the birth of a second child. Though there are hundreds of mothers who give birth at the hospital, each family is special to me, and the few days we spend together, create a unique bond.

Besides these memorable moments with patients, it is the time spent with my teammates that makes my work so worthwhile. You should see how the team comes together to help each other when there is a surge of patients at the hospital! Not only the staff, but the hospital overall has always been supportive. Last year they supported my desire to go back to school, and financially helped me continue my nursing education.

50/50 Staff Lottery

I signed up for the Staff Lottery when the program first launched. I believed it is a great way to give back to my community hospital which is also where I work. I know my little contribution can make a difference in improving care for patients, like those whom I attend to every day. Winning the lottery though was an unexpected joy!

The win comes at a time when I was least expecting it, but the funds will help me pay off some of the school fees that I have incurred during my recent education.

— Taryn Tappin