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May 13, 2016 | News, Staff News, Staff Profiles

Marilyn Muir, Community Dialysis Nurse, Local Renal Health Centre Program, Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, MB

“When I was a kid I had cancer so it was just that experience with the nurses I encountered. I learned at an early age that we touch everybody – not only the patient we care for but their family and friends. I think it can make or break your recovery process. If you have somebody who you don’t think cares about what you are going through, then I think it hinders the recovery process and then you don’t have trust in your healthcare professionals.

I wanted to give back to the patients in the way that I was taken care of. I think it gives you a different perspective when you’ve been a patient. It will be 25 years this year. We are celebrating our reunion. I’ve been in renal for 21 years. I was a bedside nurse until 2000 then I was a CRN from 2000 to 2009 until I came here.
This job is great because you get a mix of working with nurses and working with patients. I’ve done a lot in the renal program. I covered as acting manager of patient care twice and the CRN role and bedside and this is a nice mix because you are able to accomplish things. You are able to get patients home, back to their community which for some people is huge. We have patients that drive from where they live. So if they are driving from Grand Rapids it’s three hours each way, so that’s a six hour drive. So to be able to get them home is great.
And the way we have divided the units – we have the primary units – you develop relationships with the patients and the staff so that’s nice. There are lots of benefits and positives to this job.

I think the challenge in the global picture is trying to do everything for everybody. For my immediate position now, the challenge is letting go and that’s been a bit of a process. Because we do have our primary units you become attached to the patients, you become attached to the nurses. So when I am not here, I still find myself checking emails to see if there are issues in my units and I have to just let that go and know that the nurses that are covering my units are doing what they need to do. You know everything gets done, but you have an investment in them.

Since I started I’ve opened two units. I opened Hodgson in 2012 and Gimli in 2011. Since they’ve started they’ve been with me, so you develop those relationships.

Opening the two dialysis units was a great experience because you really see from the ground up the struggles they have with construction. Right from the beginning there were issues with both.

Professionally, I was president of the Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists. So I did a three year term as their president from 2010 -2013 so that would have to be the highlight of my nursing career so far.”

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