When thrown into the deep end, Melanie Scaini, RPN, excelled.
For Melanie, a pivotal moment in her nursing career happened during the pandemic at a retirement home in Ottawa where was working at that time.
When COVID-19 struck, the PSWs asked Melanie her to guide them through the constantly changing health protocols. They sought her guidance.
At that point, Melanie was a newly minted RPN learning the ropes of the environment herself. But the gravity of the situation on the ground, demanded she put her own fears aside and assume a leadership role.
“It was really scary because it was April 2020 and no one had any idea what was happening,” Melanie recalled. “I was the night shift nurse and there were more than 200 residents. I tried to be brave and calm not only for the PSWs but for the residents who were just as scared. I had no choice but to be a leader.”
Those initial months as a frontline nurse during a pandemic taught Melanie to recognize her strength and competence. She relied on her knowledge about infection control and diligently followed the hygiene procedures.
Outside of work, she relied on her mom and partner and practiced mindfulness. Her mom was her pillar of strength and her biggest cheerleader, she said.
Melanie’s currently working at Bruyère Continuing Care in the Palliative Care Department, The Ottawa Hospital in Ambulatory Care, and Queensway Carleton Hospital in the department of Medicine/ALC.
Science, particularly biology, was Melanie’s favourite subject in school and so nursing was a natural career choice for her. She graduated from Fanshawe College in 2018.
“In college, I loved learning how humans functioned right down to the molecular level, how medications interact with other, anatomy, physiology and so much more” she said. “The bigger draw for me was that I had always known I want to help people in some capacity or not and practical nursing allowed me to do that.”
Her natural aptitude coupled with the hands-on curriculum contributed to her success as a student and later as a floor nurse.
As a WeRPN Ambassador, Melanie’s able to showcase her leadership and people skills. She’s also a WeRPN mentor who has been helping her mentee become adept at SBAR (Situation, Background, Action, and Assessment).
“I am such a proud member of WeRPN,” Melanie said. “I have been a member since I was a student. I love talking to my colleagues and helping them understand the benefits of a membership, particularly our liability and malpractice insurance.”