Sheila Welch, Registered Nurse, smiles and poses in a patient room at Michael Garron Hospital.

Meet Sheila Welch, Registered Nurse at Michael Garron Hospital

Tell us about yourself!  

My name is Sheila Welch and I’m a Registered Nurse (RN) at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) in the Family Birthing Centre (FBC). I started working at MGH in 2000. 

What motivated you to join MGH?  

In 2000, after working in the USA for four years, I was looking to come back to Canada to be closer to my family. I interviewed at MGH and another hospital on the same day. I was called immediately by the other hospital and offered a job, but I decided to wait for my first choice of MGH as I was impressed with the interview process – during which I was given a tour of the FBC – and the feel of the unit. 

I was soon offered a full- time position at MGH and started in my role the following week. I arranged temporary living accommodations in a short-term stay hotel near the hospital.  

During my first week, several of my new colleagues gave me advice to help me find permanent housing in Toronto. I appreciated this welcoming environment at MGH, especially during this time when I was early in my career at the hospital.  

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

  • I have mentored several nursing students and new RNs in the FBC. This includes current staff and nurses who have since retired or moved onto different career paths. One of my earliest mentees started in 2005 and is both a friend and a coworker on the unit. My latest protégé has been working on the unit for six months. 
  • I have been involved in research projects relating to labour and birth. I am currently involved in a study on visual aids to support patient education, and I am involved in many committees at MGH including the Quality Improvement Committee in the FBC and the unit-based council for the Maternal Newborn and Child Program.  
  • I am also involved as an active union representative on my unit for the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA). As a part of this role, I sit on the Hospital Association Committee and Return to Work Committee (Occupational Health and Safety), Joint Health and Safety Committee and the Negotiation Committee for our local contract. 

Can you share your career path at MGH? 

2000I started working as an RN in labour and delivery at MGH. 

2004 to 2006: I was a patient on my unit and delivered my own children with the help of my work family. I was on maternity leave from 2004 to 2005 and returned to full-time work in 2006.  

2007 to 2019: I worked part-time to balance child-rearing and work.  

2019: I returned to full-time work at MGH.  

What motivates or inspires you?  

I feel lucky that I found a job that I'm not only skilled in, but where I can serve my community. I am passionate about the childbirth process and my role as a nurse to support, advocate for and educate our patients and their families in their labour and delivery journey. I’ve gained a lot of skills through my education and experience in the birth process over the years. I do wish that I had the insight at the start of my career to take note of how many lives I have been lucky to witness come to fruition.  

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

During my time at MGH, I have experienced both joy and heartache. A very memorable event for me in my labour and delivery unit is the birth of my two children. MGH has become my home away from home and my colleagues have become my work family, as we share joys and sorrows in everyday activities on the unit. There is no place other than MGH where I would have felt as comfortable as I did during my own birth experience.   

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