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"Follow your passion and take risks."
That's Jessica Lam's career advice.
For the Registered Nurse who started her career with the Nursing Resource Team (NRT) in 2013, it has always been important to get out of her comfort zone and challenge the status quo in order to grow.
As an NRT nurse, she helps meet staffing needs in approximately 15 different medical and surgical inpatient units at Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals. Lam can be a nurse working on Multi-Organ Transplant one day, cardiovascular and vascular surgery the next day, and surgical oncology on the following day.
National Nursing WeekMay 11-17, 2015
As a result, she is a generalist in many areas and relies heavily on self-reflection and scholarly resources to inform and guide her practice so that she can provide safe, competent nursing care.
A question that Lam often finds herself answering is how she has accomplished all she has in her short time as a new nurse to the NRT and UHN.
She has been the co-chair of the TG Site Unit Council, current co-chair of the NRT Unit Council, completed a Collaborative Academic Practice Fellowship on providing oncology education to the generalist nurse, assisted with the launch of UHN's Career Hub, and most recently was the recipient of UHN's Rising Star in Oncology Nursing award.
"It's easy to do all those things when you are truly passionate about what you do and where you work, have a manager who is a strong and supportive leader, and dedicated mentors who give themselves to you unselfishly," she responds to that question.
Because of all of those experiences, Jessica sees herself attaining a Master's degree and exploring opportunities in education and/or administration at UHN in the next five to 10 years.
She offers this career tip to others: "When you are truly passionate about and believe in what you do, it really shows and people will notice."
For Lam, following her passion and taking risks is what has got her to where she is at in her career.
"Patients and their families need this from us as nurses, and being courageous and professional is the least we can do for them. "