PJ, Registered Practical Nurse at Michael Garron Hospital

Meet PJ Iturralde, Registered Practical Nurse in MGH’s Cardiac Integrated Unit

Tell us about yourself!

Hello, my name is Philbert Iturralde, but most people call me PJ. I am a Registered Practical Nurse in the Cardiac Integrated Unit (CIU) at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH). I have worked at MGH for nine years.

What motivated you to join MGH?

At the beginning of my nursing career, I worked at a long-term care facility and I wanted to expand my knowledge and nursing skills. I joined MGH because it is a teaching hospital and I knew I would have opportunities to develop other aspects of my nursing skills and learn from exceptional nurses. Working at MGH has helped me explore other specialty areas in nursing and develop my career.

What types of learning, mentorship or professional development opportunities have you had the opportunity to pursue since joining MGH?

Since joining MGH, I learned new skills and expanded my nursing knowledge by joining the CIU. I had the opportunity to study Coronary Care 1, Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis and Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis. I was surrounded by seasoned nurses with tons of experience. Watching them and working with them enabled me to emulate their practice and modify it to apply to my own.

Can you share your career path at MGH?

2013: I started my career at MGH working on the Medicine Unit. It was a big adjustment for me as I was coming from a long-term care facility. Being in an acute care setting was new. Working here has enabled me to create a good foundation for my transition from working in long-term care and has allowed me to forge bonds with my colleagues and create friendships.

2016 to present: I joined the CIU as it provided me with the opportunity to explore working in cardiology. I also was able to move from working eight-hour shifts to 12-hour shifts, which is a better schedule for my family.

What motivates or inspires you?

My family inspires me. I enjoy providing for them. My colleagues motivate me to always strive to provide exceptional patient care. I have a strong work ethic and always try my best to help. I enjoy knowing that I do everything I can to help people in their time of need.

If you could share one memorable moment from your time at MGH, what stands out to you?

Working at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and being redeployed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was very memorable to me. This served as a challenge to my nursing skills at the time and allowed me to explore another area of nursing – critical care nursing.

It was a scary experience as I felt like we were all stuck fighting a new disease that very few people had encountered before. Facing the unknown, fighting this pandemic and each successive wave has been both rewarding and frightening.

These past couple of years has been very memorable and I have learned new skills along the way.

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