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Nurse from western P.E.I. honoured for her efforts to take care of others in French

Michelle Andrews speaks French while on the job at the Western Hospital in Alberton.
Michelle Andrews speaks French while on the job at the Western Hospital in Alberton. - Submitted

ALBERTON, P.E.I. – This month’s Étoile Santé winner is nurse Michelle Andrews.

Since 2005, Andrews has been working at the Western Hospital in Alberton, where she loves having the opportunity to speak French.

“The French language is very important to me and my family, and I enjoy speaking it. My daughter attends École Pierre-Chiasson, and we converse in French at home.”

This quality is part of the assets she brings to the table when on duty at Western Hospital’s emergency department.

“I mainly work nights, running the emergency department with a paramedic within a collaborative model of emergency services,” she says.

“We greet the individuals seeking assistance and can call a physician if a case demands medical expertise. I love what I do; my work requires a sense of responsibility, good communication skills to evaluate each situation and the ability to make quick decisions in the best interest of the patient. When necessary, you must also be able to describe the situation as accurately as possible to the doctor on call so he can recommend the proper treatment.”

Andrews lives in the area and knows the residents, which helps her determine if she should be asking questions in French or in English.”

During one of her night shifts, a local resident who was taking care of her grandson decided to take him to the emergency department in Alberton after he had a health problem.

“I immediately saw that they were francophones and I know that being able to speak French to me came as a big relief to the grandmother,” says Andrews.

To show her appreciation for the quality services delivered by the nurse, the grandmother submitted her name to the Étoile Santé campaign.

Andrews’ job involves a wide range of tasks.

“I’m often called upon to help out in the unit of hospitalized patients or to assist if a French-speaking person is needed,” she says. “It’s essential for patients to be clearly understood; it can make a world of difference in someone’s health.”

The nurse is proud of her nomination as one of Prince Edward Island’s Étoiles Santé.

“I make it my mission to treat my patients well and take good care of them. It’s a very demanding career, but it’s also helped me take care of myself. It stimulates me and makes me very happy.”

At a glance

Michelle Andrews’s contact information can be found in the bilingual service provider directory at www.santeipe.ca/repertoire.

Anyone can nominate health professionals who actively offer French language health services in Prince Edward Island for a chance to win $500.

For more information on the Étoile Santé campaign or to nominate someone directly on the PEIFHN’s Web site, go to www.santeipe.ca.

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