Aliyah Thomas

Registered Practical Nurse

Practical Nursing Diploma


What are the roles and responsibilities in your current position?

An RPN has many roles in healthcare and responsibilities vary in in your place of work. I’m currently working as a float nurse at the Brantford General Hospital. I am floated to various floors such as the medical unit, medically complex and palliative care unit, ER offload unit and the Willet Hospital. The main responsibilities as a nurse in the hospital is advocating for your patient and making sure they receive the best care, health teaching and promotion, keeping patients comfortable and safe while they are in their most vulnerable state and working as a team. In the hospital a nurse is responsible for administering medications, wound care, IV medications and fluids, communicating with patients and families, collaborating with the health care team and so much more.


What barriers did you have to overcome to succeed?

A barrier I faced during my schooling was being overwhelmed by all of the school work. It’s overwhelming feeling like you need to know everything about everything in what feels like a short time. A tew times I thought nursing wasn’t the right path for me, but I had to push myself through and thankfully had a good support system that wouldn’t let me give up. There must of been a reason I was accepted into the program and why I was put on that path so I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and asked questions and made some great trends that helped me through school. Working as a nurse now, being short staffed has been a huge barrier across all hospitals. Healthcare workers are burnt out and overworked, because of this patient care has been suffering. Healthcare workers are doing the best they can with the little staff they have. A solution would be to be patient with your healthcare workers. As healthcare workers, we should lean on each other and help any way that we can, teamwork makes the dream work.


What is your advice for healthcare students?

Make sure you take care of yourself first before taking care of others. You should always have a good mind before going into work so that you are able to give your patients 100% of yourself. If you don’t have a good mind or are in bad place mentally, it’s difficult to give your all to patients, if you need a mental break, take one! Nursing is a very demanding and stressful job, listen to your body and mind. Ask questions!!! I was told once by a coworker to “Ask questions, because you don’t know what you don’t know” and it has stuck with me. Find a few mentors that are willing to help you, and be a mentor! Nurses shouldn’t “eat their young” and instead should encourage other nurses to want to learn. Take every opportunity to learn or observe a procedure or something you’ve never seen before as a student or new grad. It makes for a great learning opportunity and you get to see some pretty cool procedures in the hospital.


Contact Aliyah for more information on her professional field and support!
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