Meet (and pledge!) Tia Simard and Stacey Bartczak.
Sponsored by Kinsmen Club of Cornwall
What do we do at CCH?
We’re both proud members of CCH’s ICU. Last year, our department took home the Clinical Cup when Dr. Akram Arab won Dancing with the CCH Stars, and we’re looking to repeat his win on March 2nd!
Stacey – I’ve been a registered nurse at CCH for 12 years. During that time, I’ve worked everywhere in the hospital, except the OR. When I joined the ICU department six years ago, it felt like I found my professional home with my CCH family. Aside from the support I provide to patients, I have a new role as Clinical Facilitator, mentoring new hires and supporting them to develop their skills and nursing practice in an ICU setting.
Tia – I’m technically a new grad with two years of hands-on ICU experience under my belt. COVID was a lonely time as a nursing student. Much of the initial learning was online due to the virus’ progress, and our schooling was extended by six weeks in year three to provide the hands-on learning we needed. Receiving my placement in ICU felt amazing. Helping patients, delivering care, and engaging with families for the past two years confirms this is what I was meant to do.
What inspired us to get involved in healthcare?
Stacey – My father works with the mental health team at CCH, and he always thought nursing would be a good fit for me. His support was encouraging and having a strong local nursing program at St. Lawrence College made the decision easier because I could get a great education and work in my home community. After I graduated, my mother saw how much I loved nursing, so she went back to school to become a PSW, and my brother’s marrying a nurse, so I guess healthcare’s a big part of our family now.
Tia – I always knew I wanted to go into nursing, ever since I was 12 years old. I didn’t have anyone around me in healthcare, but I loved Grey’s Anatomy, science was my favourite class in school, and I knew I wanted to help people. Being on the frontlines now, I’m inspired by my colleagues, our patients, and their families.
What are we most proud of working in the ICU?
Stacey: Life in the ICU is very rewarding and deeply challenging. I’m proud when I can help people get better, and I’m proud to help families when people don’t get better. Death and dying isn’t easy. Critically ill individuals represent our sickest patients and, due to the severity of their illnesses, we can’t guarantee their survival. Seeing our patients go home is incredibly meaningful. We’re one big family in ICU, and we believe in what we do.
Tia: We really work as hard as we can to help our patients. Being there during the toughest moments in someone’s life is how we give back to our community. Coming up through the pandemic helped put things in perspective – without nursing, healthcare crumbles. I’m happy to grow my career at CCH and proud to work in the ICU.
What do we wish people knew about our hospital?
Things have really changed at CCH over the years, and we’ve gotten to a point in Cornwall where our facility can care for a wider level of critically ill patients. The multidisciplinary team we have in ICU is exceptional and we’re proud of it. We work alongside some of the best physicians in the hospital with wonderful compassion and care.
Why did we decide to participate in Dancing with the CCH Stars?
Akram, Renee, Andrew, and Robin from ICU had such an incredible experience last year, they inspired us to dance! Seeing what they did for the hospital, and for our department, we wanted to get involved, too. We also have a secret weapon in Tia. She danced with Studio C for 16 years, starting when she was 3. Her first recital dance was to “Old Time Rock and Roll,” and we’ve got the pictures to prove it!
What project are we dancing for?
We’re supporting our healthcare workers in the ICU and our respiratory therapists. Our team in ICU is our family, and our respiratory therapists are incredible. The average person may not understand their expertise, or how much they do – from infants to pediatrics to trauma cases and ventilator patients – any time an airway is threatened, their expertise saves lives.
Our project includes two important purchases:
- A new bedside cardiac monitor to help us upgrade our fleet and make sure our sickest patients are monitored with the best technology to deliver quality care for the critically ill.
- New cough-assist equipment and a new microloop spirometer to update our respiratory therapists’ equipment, helping them support and save lives.
Why should people vote for us?
We work hard, play hard, and we’re ready to defend our ICU’s hold on the Clinical Cup! When the chips are down, you want us in your corner – please support us and our life-saving project!