Meet our nurse Katarina

Image: Meet our nurse Katarina

Every year we look forward to National Nursing Week as it is a time when we showcase the amazing work that our nurses do for our patients.

This year WHO declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse. We wish to celebrate our nurses by introducing you to a few of the nurses from our health care team.

Meet Katarina Bvoc Berta and find out what she has learned, providing care to patients and families in their homes.

1. When did you become a nurse?

I became a nurse in my home country of Slovakia in my early twenties. I returned to nursing after a brief break from my immigration to Canada. I attended nursing school at York University.

2. What’s unique about being a nurse in the community?

Observing and interacting with patients in their homes has been an equally rewarding and challenging experience. Starting with the obvious, patients and their families are in their comfort zone at home. We have the privilege to see the beautifully holistic picture of a person, beyond their label of diagnosis. Especially here in Toronto, we are immersed in multicultural work, and in the context of palliative care we are welcomed even in the most private of homes. It is a privilege to observe different cultural practices and spirituality in so many rich and colourful ways.

3. What do you wish people knew about nurses?

That we are no angels! But rather we are professionals with a strong knowledge base, which is equally as important as the compassionate aspect of our work.

4. What is the most challenging part of the job?

Meeting patients at their home also highlights the socioeconomic inequities and brings these challenges to the forefront. This includes isolation, limited supports, poor housing, mental health challenges, and language barriers, just to name a few. These challenges often create more difficult circumstances than the diagnosis itself.

There is also the aspect of coping with compounding losses. Our work offers binding closeness and the inevitable abrupt stop. In many circumstances it is a patient’s last, inspiring paragraph to a well lived life. Sadly when a young life is lost, the picture is tragically unfinished, leaving behind a painful vacuum for families to move on with.

5. What is the most rewarding part of the job?

The sincere gratitude from family members and knowing at the end of the day that I made a lasting difference when it mattered the most. Also, I am incredibly grateful to be working with a highly competent and dedicated team of colleagues.

6. What patient/family has impacted your practice the most?

I would do injustice trying to choose just one. Teachers are all around and I am inspired by so many. Facing loss with grace and courage, humour and so much spirit, the list of teachers is long and they are all around me. It may be a devoted family member or a patient with an outpouring of authenticity. The strongest spirits often live in the most fragile bodies.

7. What are some of your favorite activities to do outside of work?

I like my work, I love my family, in that order of priority. Time with them is truly cherished. I also enjoy audiobooks that fill the long hours spent in traffic. Nature walks and creative arts lift my spirit whenever time allows.

Join our nursing team

We are currently hiring passionate and dedicated nurses to join our team. View our current career opportunities and apply online today!