Henry's Career Journey at MGH

Tell us about yourself!Hi, my name is Henry Galan and I am a Registered Nurse on J5 Complex Continuing Care (CCC) & Rehab. I have been working at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) for 18 years!

What motivated you to join MGH?

I was referred by an employee and former colleagues from my previous workplace to apply to MGH. I was eager to work in an environment that encompasses great team work, excellent patient care and embraces diversity. I was pleased to hear positive comments of MGH, especially supportive management teams. My friends told me the management team was accommodating to work-life balance for families and care about each of their staff members. I joined MGH as part of the Nursing Resource Team (NRT) so I met several staff members that supported my learning and transition to MGH.

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

I was given the opportunity to learn from colleagues, physicians and allied health to develop skills to work in a variety of units and specialties. As part of NRT, I was exposed to practice nursing skills from surgery, clinics, CIU and rehab. I had opportunities to be mentored by my colleagues to develop leadership roles, such as understanding staffing and being involved in patient rounds. I enjoy being a mentor to new staff on the unit and assisting them with a smooth transition to their role at MGH.

Can you share your career path at MGH?

2004 – 2007: I joined NRT. I was looking for a fast-paced job opportunity that allowed me to utilize a variety of nursing skills. NRT gave me the exposure to work in several units within the hospital and encounter a lot of patient cases.

2007 – 2012:  I joined J5 CCC & Rehab. I was excited to join a unit and have a stable unit/workplace. I had experience working on J5 as part of NRT and I wanted to stay on the unit permanently. I enjoy providing nursing care to long-term stay patients because I can build professional relationships with patients.

2012 – 2015:  I returned back to NRT.

2015 – 2017: I joined surgery B5 as a temporary position. I enjoyed a fast-paced environment and was able to practice a lot of hands-on skills.

2017 – Present: I rejoined J5. What motivates/inspires you?

The patients and families motivate me to be a better nurse and person. When I come to work, I am motivated to give my best nursing care to my patients and advocate for them. When you see patients smile in return of excellent care and compassion, I acknowledge that I have incorporated their values into our nursing care plans and I can play a role in helping them achieve their healthcare goals. I recognized that as a nurse, we play a big role in patients’ experiences in the hospital. I had an experience where a patient expressed having cereal for breakfast every day and unfortunately visitors were limited during the pandemic. The patient never complained but I learned more about the patient and her personality. When I brought cereal for the first time to the patient, the patient thought it was a wonderful Christmas gift and I can feel her happiness. It is the small things we do as nurses that can make someone’s day better.

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

While I was a NRT staff, I was assigned to J5 where I met a patient with vision impairment. The patient had a particular care plan and the patient’s husband was highly involved in care. As a float nurse, sometimes it is difficult to quickly learn the patient’s routines because we are not a regular staff on the unit. I took the time to talk to the patient, listen and incorporate their values into the care. When I entered or exited the room, I held the patient’s hand and told them whether I was leaving the room. So the next time I was assigned to J5, the patient recognized who I was through touch of my hand.  This moment showed me compassionate care through voice and actions. Patients may not be able to see facial expressions but they can feel kindness.

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