It’s National Nursing Week!

Image: It’s National Nursing Week!

It's National Nursing Week! Let's celebrate our nurses.

This week we celebrate our real life superheroes; nurses. Nurses are a vital part of Ontario’s health care system; they are in our hospitals, retirement homes, clinics, treatment facilities and private homes. At Spectrum Health Care (SHC) we have an amazing group of nurses who specialize in a variety of community care nursing practices. This year to celebrate National Nursing Week we are taking glimpses into the different types of nurses we have in our Spectrum family. First up Enterostomal Therapy nurses!


An Enterostomal Therapy Nurse also known as ET Nurse is a registered nurse with advanced and specialized knowledge and clinical skills in wound, ostomy and continence care. ET nurses focus on helping patients properly heal their wounds in order to achieve a healthy and timely recovery. We chatted with two of our very own ET Nurses, Olena Z. (a six year veteran with SHC) and Simcha B.S. (an 8 year veteran with SHC) to get a sneak peek into the life of ET nursing.

What’s one thing that you feel everyone should know or understand about ET nursing?

Olena: It’s a lot more rewarding than people think. People often ask me “how can you do that kind of nursing?” but I love the satisfaction of knowing that I am helping a patient, who is in pain or distress, receive the right treatment. It’s gratifying to come up with a care plan and see a patient‘s progress as they recover.

Simcha: It’s a specialized nursing skill where we provide patients with wound treatment and management to help with their recovery to enhance their quality of life.

What’s the best part about being an ET nurse?

Olena: Having such an amazing team! I have worked with the ET nursing teams in the Toronto and Peel branch and they are an amazing group of nurses. They are all very passionate and extremely knowledgeable about the work we do.

Simcha: Adding the ET specialization to my existing nursing background, in visiting and palliative nursing, provides me with the ability to use a wide spectrum of nursing skills to help each patient with their unique needs. Being able to reach a patient’s desired outcome by using my diverse skill sets and expertise is one of the best parts of my job.

What’s the hardest part about being an ET nurse?

Olena: Accepting that there are some patients whose pain and distress I am not able to significantly reduce. It’s hard knowing that I tried my best but was not able to get them to their desired outcome.

Simcha: The hardest part is ensuring proper communication. Sometimes a patient has a team of health care professionals who are involved in their care and recovery. With multiple individuals involved it’s important to ensure that the right information is communicated to the right team member to keep the patient’s recovery on track.

What do you love most about your job?

Olena: That every day is different! Each day is a new challenge and extremely stimulating because I can use my skills and knowledge in different ways to help a variety of patients. The ET team is also a big reason why I love my job; Spectrum has done a great job putting together a dynamic team of ET professionals.

Simcha: The smiles I get from my patients. It lets me know that I am making a positive difference in their lives. Also the support I get from my fellow colleagues, my program manager and coordinator, Dana Gold.

What does this mean?

Ostomy: an artificial opening in an organ of the body, created during an operation such as a colostomy, ileostomy, or gastrostomy; a stoma.

Continence care: continence care relates to helping an individual control their bladder and/or bowel functions.