Faces of the QEH – Deborah Roberts

I am so proud to be a nurse; the purpose of the journey is compassion.

As a clinical educator and lead in the QEH Ambulatory Care Centre with over four decades of experience as a registered nurse, Deb says that it’s a privilege to do what she does. “I feel pride but it’s not about me.  It’s about the patient.  I feel joy in seeing them progress,” says Deborah Roberts, RN, MN. 

“My most important role is with the patients.  We have to start where the patient is at and if we do, we cannot falter.”  Deb feels blessed to have grown up on Main Street in Souris in a home full of grace.  Her parents were very compassionate, caring and community-minded people.  “Nursing is about authentic caring.  You have to believe in people and you have to have compassion.” 

Deb is proud to be a nurse, saying “Nursing is dynamic and evolving as a profession. I remind patients we are a team. They own their illness and our role is to help patients better manage their health based on their needs. Trust and respect is essential in the relationship beginning where they are at.”

 Teaching and learning every single day is important.  Deb has been blessed with the gift of energy, creativity and being proactive, which is vital in her role.  After spending over 30 years in the operating room she knows firsthand how critical it is to have state-of-the-art equipment, which is why she is a donor to the QEH Foundation. Deb also stresses the importance of teamwork and ensuring staff feel safe by knowing what their skills are, recognizing their talents and trusting in their expertise.

In her role as a clinical educator she has the privilege to work with four generations.  “What I permit – I promote,” is a quote members of her team often hear her say.  She truly believes that if the staff trust their knowledge and skills, are familiar and competent with their equipment and technology and trust in the team they work with, then they can be confident the patient is receiving the greatest care possible.  “New staff are our wealth and we can learn from each other.”

When asked how she hopes her patients and colleagues will remember her after she retires she replied, “I hope my foot print is soft yet consistent as a patient advocate and that I’m known most for my compassion and caring in support of patient safety.”