Operating room nurse at P.E.I.’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital receives Marjorie E. Vessey Award – Guardian

At a young age growing up in Charlottetown, Rebecca Doiron was inspired by her mother to pursue nursing as a career.

On Monday, Doiron’s mother, Joyce Skinner, was in the audience at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to see her daughter receive this year’s Marjorie E. Vessey Award for outstanding nursing service.

“I grew up in a house where my mother loved nurses. From a very, very young age, if you were a nurse, you were top shelf,” said Doiron. “Thank you, Mom.”

Doiron added that she was humbled to receive the award and to be a part of the operation room team.

“I’m very proud to be a nurse. I’m proud to be a team member of this group here. I’m proud to be an employee of this building. I love this place. I put my heart and soul into it. I do. And, I’m really proud that I’m able to work here,” she said.

Doiron graduated from Dalhousie University in 1984. After working in Montreal in pediatrics and intensive care nursing, she returned to her hometown of Charlottetown in 1989 and joined the staff at the QEH in pediatrics.

Doiron now works as an operating room nurse. Since January 2016, Doiron has also been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces 33 Field Ambulance based in Halifax.

Melanie Walsh, nurse manager of surgical services, described Doiron as an inspiration, a mentor, a role model, a patient advocate and a “trusted and valued staff member”.

“She’s the first one to stay late. She’s the first one to come in on her day off or on second-call team. And, she’s the one that can help you become the nurse you want to be,” she said.

Walsh added that Doiron recognizes that the operating room can be a frightening place for patients.

“She’s always there with a kind word, a bright smile, a warm blanket to make a difficult situation better,” said Walsh.

Walsh also said Doiron “injects an element of fun and humour into every situation.”

As Walsh spoke, Doiron wiped a tear from the corner of her eye.

After the ceremony, Doiron said it was touching to hear Walsh’s remarks.

Doiron was one of four nominees for the award. The other three nominees were Nancy Zurheide, Gail MacLean and Paul Higginbotham.