Before Michele Grace became an RPN, she was a hairstylist. During her first year of work as a hairstylist, Michele’s grandfather had a stroke and was hospitalized. During his final days the nursing staff showed such care and compassion to her grandfather and her family that Michele knew nursing was what she wanted to do.
Michele completed the Registered Nursing Assistant program certificate in 1984 and went to school to complete her Registered Practical Nursing. Michele has found her place at the Lakehead Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic (LNPLC). Michele says her role at the LNPLC has given her the opportunity to further expand her nursing skills and work within the full scope of practice of an RPN. Some of her responsibilities at the clinic include patient assessment and interventions, dressing changes, infection control, health teaching, immunizations, monitoring nutritional intake, and phlebotomy. Michele’s critical thinking skills have been enhanced due to increased responsibilities. Michele is a Chronic Disease Self-Management Master Trainer, and has completed her Diabetes Educator program certificate, Palliative Care II, and Touch Therapy II courses.
Michele says that working as part of a multi-disciplinary team approach to health care delivery gives all health care providers greater job efficiency and better patient outcomes by leveraging each others’ strengths. “The respect and trust shown here by all the staff at the LNPLC is second to none!” says Michele. As part of the multi-disciplinary team at LNPLC, Michele has been instrumental in the development of a Care Giver Support program, and the development of Prenatal and New Mom and Baby information resources for parents. Michelle has conducted community needs assessments in 13 First Nations communities in Northern Ontario and has conducted Smoking Cessation surveys in 9 First Nations Communities.
For Michele, a career in nursing means dedicating yourself to a lifelong passion. “From the moment you call yourself a nurse, you join an elite group of talented people. You must prepare yourself for births, deaths, and illness while celebrating health and wellness. You must be prepared for all kinds of situations and all kinds of emotions; however, most importantly, you must simply care.” In her downtime, Michele treasures spending time with her husband, daughter and family and friends. Michele is focused on a healthy lifestyle with eating healthy and exercising daily and some of her favourite hobbies are going to the cottage, playing soccer, and catching the newest movie in theatres.