By Denise Bacon

“During these terrible times, family is everything, so I appreciate my immediate family and my work family,” effused Glenis Johnson, a Registered Practical Nurse at the Tony Stacey Centre for Veterans Care.

She has worked at the Stacey Centre for 20 years and she has grown to care deeply for the residents. The camaraderie developed over the years with her colleagues adds to her joy at work. Glenis said that she works with some really dedicated, caring and loving nursing staff and Personal Support Workers. “I’m thankful and blessed that I get to work with them,” said Glenis.

 Glenis is grateful and relieved that everyone at the Stacey Centre is free from COVID-19. This is primarily due to the proactive measures and excellent response from the management team and staff there. Right from the front door at the start of every shift, Glenis goes through a health check. She dons a mask and washes her hands thoroughly before even getting to her wing. There is a health check done at the end of every shift, too, to ensure that staff are healthy when they leave work.

All necessary personal protective equipment is amply available for all staff, including masks, face shields, gloves, gowns and booties. Everyone is being extremely careful with every action and they are all  behaving as though there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in the centre. 

Having worked as a nurse through the SARS crisis, Glenis said that this virus has been much more worrisome. “We just can’t be too careful,” she said. She wears a face mask and shield all the time except to eat in the staff lounge during her work break. At the end of her shift, Glenis cleans her face shield thoroughly and places in an individualized zip-lock bag and leaves it at a station set up by the management team. Face shields don’t leave the premises to avoid contamination.

She was required to pick a primary job since the COVID-19 outbreak, so Glenis gave up her part-time job at another care centre. She is happy to be working at the Stacey Centre where she knows she is making a positive difference in the lives of the residents.

Glenis is acutely aware about her family’s safety every time she comes home from work. She adheres to a rigorous routine to sanitize herself when she gets home before she enters common living areas and greets her family.

Glenis remembers that she has a duty of care for the residents at the Tony Stacey Centre. Every workday, she “buckles up, draws on her family’s support and on her faith and goes to work.”