The purpose of the P.E.I. French Health Network's Étoile Santé campaign is to promote, recruit and make people aware of health professionals who offer French-language health services in Prince Edward Island.
The Étoile Santé for the month of January is Louise Bossé.
This P.E.I. nurse embodies the qualities of a model nurse: patient, nursing, calm, attentive and especially, very competent.
Originally from Edmundston, N. B., Bossé was one of the first bilingual nurses hired in the wake of the adoption of the very first French services policy, under the leadership of Premier Joe Ghiz.
"I completed my studies at Université de Moncton on December 8, 1990, and on December 12, I had a job on the Island. I started working in February 1991. I was one of the first three bilingual nurses hired at Prince County Hospital," Bossé says.
The integration of a team of bilingual nurses at the hospital required some adjustments. It took a few years before the hospital finally opted for a float team.
Bilingual nurses could then float from one service to another, where there was a demand.
"In all the departments where I worked, I tried to enhance French-language services. I would always ask for pamphlets and information in French, in an effort to improve the services. It was important for me."
A former colleague wanted Bossé to be recognized as a star in French-language health services.
"I worked with Louise and saw how she interacted with patients. She was also very supportive towards my family during a difficult time. Louise is a gem who has played a significant role in sharing the French language in the field of nursing, and she has done so with great pride!" says Mélanie Gallant.
Bossé has a phenomenal memory that allows her to remember details as specific as the room number where a particular family was gathered around a sick or dying relative.
"We obviously see people at times in their lives where they are vulnerable. For Francophone clients, being able to express themselves in French and knowing that they'll be understood can be a relief," says the nurse who has been working in the Emergency department since the opening of the new hospital 10 years ago.
Bossé's contact information can be found in the bilingual service provider directory at www.santeipe.ca/repertoire. People are encouraged to nominate health professionals who actively offer French-language health services in Prince Edward Island. For more information on the Étoile Santé campaign or to nominate someone directly on the PEIFHN's Web site, go to www.santeipe.ca.