Laurie Fraser - Clinical Nurse Leader, Emergency Department

Written by Megan Birnie

Q: What’s your role at Providence Health Care?

A: I am one of seven dedicated Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNLs) in the Emergency Department at St. Paul’s Hospital.

Q: You recently celebrated your 25th anniversary in Emerg and 28 years overall at St. Paul’s. Why did you choose to work here?

A: I left Montreal in 1986 to move to the west coast. Health care jobs were plentiful at the time, and St. Paul’s was similar to the Catholic hospital where I did my training in Montreal. The Human Resources person who interviewed me was fabulous, and that’s what sold me on the job. I’ve never looked back.

Q: What do you remember about your first day in Emerg?

A: My first day is still very clear to me. I came down to the Triage desk to meet the nurse educator and the other orientees. While I was waiting, two paramedics had brought in a patient who was screaming and swearing and causing a scene. Prior to this, I had always worked in areas that were very clean, calm and well-controlled so this was a bit of a shock to me, but I was up for the challenge. Working here means I get to see everything – babies being born, families dealing with the loss of loved ones and everything in between. I’m honoured and privileged to be allowed in people’s lives. Staff here get an opportunity to see things that no one else does. Some sad things, some joyful.

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

A: The people I care for, the people I work with, and my husband – he’s a paramedic in the Downtown Eastside and we met on the job.

Q: What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned from your time here?

A: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”. Every day is different. It’s important to try to maintain a sense of humour about it all and to stay calm.

Q: What do you do to relax?

A: I love cooking, I love being outside - especially going to the beach - and I’m looking forward to an upcoming vacation to Florida.

Q: If you could go back in time, where would you go?

A: I would go back to one of the happiest time in my career, just before I started this CNL job. I was teaching at BCIT and the Justice Institute while also working. I loved being able to pass on my knowledge and passion to new students.

Q: How would you like to be remembered here at St. Paul’s?

A: I would like to be remembered as a great nurse and a great colleague, and for my very neat charting in both red AND blue ink!