The Gleaner

Valley nurse recognized for her care of English-speaking patients

Recently, Valley nurse Brianna Forget was recognized by CISSSMO for her contributions to health care, specifically in regards to her treatment of anglophone patients. This recognition came through the STAR (Special Thanks and Recognition) program, which is “an initiative of the Table régionale des partenaires d’expression anglaise in health and social services. Its mandate is to promote and increase access to services for the English-speaking population of Montérégie,” says Catherine Brousseau, the communications representative for CISSMO. The recipients are given a card of thanks and a $50 gift card, courtesy of the Montérégie West Community Network (MWCN).

Brousseau explains that after the initial nominations are done, winners are chosen by a draw. Forget says, “It was actually my co-workers who had nominated me for this program, because I’m one of the few English nurses in our unit.” The nominations were submitted last summer, and she hadn’t thought much of it since. That is, until her mother, who is a manager for home health care, saw the results in an email and forwarded them to Forget, who was thrilled to hear the news.

Forget works as a nurse in the neonatal, labour, and delivery unit of the Suroît Hospital in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.. “I grew up volunteering in healthcare. I always wanted to be working with children and newborns specifically, so it was just kind of always my dream to work in neonatal, labour, and delivery,” she says.

COVID hit towards the end of Forget’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree studies at Laurentian University, so her training was a bit unconventional. “We learnt to go with the punches, one step at a time, one day at a time, one class at a time, because everything was changed.” She especially lost a lot of the practical, hands-on experience that comes with a degree in nursing. However, she says she felt lucky, knowing that she had already done her Licensed Practical Nurse training and had experienced in-person clinical training.


The STAR program was created to recognize health care practitioners like the Valleys Brianna Forget who make sure to provide services to English speaking patients in their first language PHOTO provided


Given the nature of Bill 15 and this being an award recognizing English-speaking community members specifically, Forget says that she is “hoping, with the newer generations [and] with people being so open, a lot more people will be able to speak both languages, and a lot more people will be open to being bilingual.”

Brousseau says that “in compliance with the laws governing healthcare establishments, the CISSSMO has put in place various measures to communicate. Good communication between staff and the English-speaking population is essential to providing accessible, personalized, quality, and safe services.” Forget feels like having access to services in English is of huge importance in the health care sector, sharing that “The difference that makes for English patients is the fact that they’re getting competently informed care.”

Forget is humbled to be one of the recipients of this award, especially since it is a recognition from her peers. For her, being recognized and seen is a great feeling.

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