James, NP at MGH.

James's Career Journey at MGH

Tell us about yourself!

I’m James Callahan, Supervisor in Community Health: Infection Prevention and Control here at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH). I have called MGH my workplace for the past seven years.

What motivated you to join MGH?

When I started at Michael Garron Hospital, I was a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN). I was attracted to MGH because RPNs have a wider scope of practice here and I was eager to increase my nursing skills. At MGH, RPNs can work in the Emergency Department and work with Intravenous Medications, whereas at other community hospitals, RPNs would not be able to work with these populations.

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

Through MGH I was able to supplement my education through the staff education initiative and was able to help fund my transition from a Registered Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse (RN).

Each semester I would apply and receive a bursary to support the pursuit of my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN).  MGH trained me for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Paediatric Emergency Assessment, and Recognition and Stabilization (PEARS). I have also had excellent mentorship in my transition from bedside nursing to Infection Control.

Can you share your career path at MGH?2014: I was looking to gain bedside nursing experience and the inpatient medical unit I worked on provided me a wide range of skills and opportunities to work with a variety of healthcare professionals. It was an excellent introduction to the profession.

2017: I transitioned to working in the Emergency Department (ED) where I enjoyed working alongside a highly-functioning team and using my clinical judgment to implement and utilize Medical Directives to provide timely care to patients presenting to our ED.

2020: I joined the Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) team as the COVID-19 pandemic had piqued my interest in the field.

2021: I now work to help provide our community partners (long-term care homes, retirement homes, shelters, congregate settings) with pragmatic IPAC support.

What motivates/inspires you?

I enjoy having a specialized skillset and having tangible skills that can help our community in our day-to-day life. My nursing skills translate to help me interpret health related news and updates, and are helpful in my personal life as well. I enjoy interacting with our community members, being with our patients, other healthcare providers and nurses. It gives me a sense of belonging.

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

During my ACLS training, I learned how to cardiovert patients out of supraventricular tachycardia using the Valsalva maneuver. One week later, I had the opportunity to try this least invasive approach before using the defibrillator. It worked and it was very satisfying to use my knowledge, skills and judgment to provide the best care possible to someone in distress.

I also worked to implement a routine prevalence screening program that was responsible for early identification and preventing potential COVID-19 outbreaks on our inpatient units.

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