Meet the ICU Training Program Nursing Graduates
When Hospitals across the province were working tirelessly due to the shortage of nurses, especially in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Durham College created their Collaborative ICU Program with Humber River Hospital.
This innovative program upskills current Humber nursing staff to become ICU nurses. The program does this by combining online teaching and simulation training and testing, along with 120 hours of placement for the nurses.
One of our long-time donors, Scotiabank, put their support behind this program, helping many of the nurses who graduated from the program last December.
Starting this past January, many are working in the ICU, including Ayotunde, Cassandra and Sandra.
Ayotunde Ajiboye has been in the field for 12 years and continues to grow in his career, aiming to become a nurse practitioner. One of the main reasons why he became a nurse was because of his siblings, who have genetic diseases.
“I think the best way for me to assist humanity is by going into the field and study more about it. If I have the knowledge, I am able to provide the assistance,” Ayotunde said. “I would say my siblings motivated me to be in this profession.”
After previously working on the eighth floor at the Hospital, Ayotunde moved to the ICU since joining the ICU Training Program. “I’m happy to work with the technology and monitor my patients on a one-on-one basis. I can follow up on each patient that I look after, which is one thing I really like about the ICU.”
As Ayotunde continues to reach towards his goals in his career, he says that he is forever grateful to Scotiabank for providing funding for the ICU Training Program. If given the opportunity to join more funded programs, Ayotunde would not hesitate to apply to more.
“I hope that they will not stop providing funding so that other people like me can have this opportunity. I really want to say thank you for everything because it’s worth it and for that, I’m very grateful.”
For Cassandra Chow, nursing was love at first sight. She enjoys the critical thinking that goes into her job and caring for people is rewarding and fulfilling. After graduating as a nurse three years ago, Cassandra has held a variety of different nursing positions, including in long-term care, palliative care and surgery.
“Before upskilling, I was a full time nurse on Humber’s inpatient unit on the 12th floor. But I love the challenge of learning new things, so I applied to the ICU training program and graduated in December,” Cassandra said. “I’ve been in the ICU since January and I’m so grateful to learn from this expert team who has been so welcoming.”
Today, Cassandra is working full time in the ICU and enjoys the larger scope of practice, including the opportunity to move into other areas like PACU (post anaesthesia care unit) since nurses trained in critical care can work even beyond the ICU.
“The ICU Training program funded by Scotiabank was such a valuable experience for me personally, but also for the entire healthcare system. The critical shortage of nurses in our province affects us all, and Scotiabank has really stepped up to help provide a solution by funding this training.”
Sandra Ogunleye is a recent nursing graduate who found herself working on the eighth floor during the peak of the pandemic in 2020.
During this time, the Hospital was going through a “stretched-model,” where they would send nurses from the eighth floor to the ICU. That’s when Sandra got a glimpse of working in the ICU.
She quickly knew that she wanted to be part of that unit to not only expand her skillset but to also be in a role where there was more critical thinking. This gave way to her decision to join the ICU Training Program.
Now, Sandra has officially been in the ICU unit since January 2022, during the middle of the Omircon variant.
“I’ve dealt with patients that were in a much more critical state, so I was in shock because this is what my co-workers have been dealing with for the past two years. It was a draining month, so I could only imagine how it was during the time that I was not here,” Sandra said.
All in all, Sandra’s appreciative of her time in the ICU Training Program and encourages donors to keep funding because she’s influenced many of her former colleagues on the eighth floor to join the program.
“I’m glad that I had this opportunity to be part of the ICU Training Program. It benefits the Hospital as well because if we are more critically-care trained and we are aware of what is going on in the ICU, then if we ever encounter another pandemic, we will be more prepared.”
A special thank you to Scotiabank for supporting our ICU nursing graduates and the ICU Training Program.