Q&A with Nursing Supervisor Charlane Porter
Bayshore | | Home Care
Bayshore HealthCare’s nurses have varied backgrounds and specialties. What they have in common is a passion for nursing and empathy for their clients. We talked to Charlane Porter, a Nursing Supervisor at our Edmonton branch, to learn about her experience with Bayshore. Charlane joined us in July 2018 as a temporary hire, and she became a permanent employee in December.
What first brought you to Bayshore?
I’ve been a nurse, an RPN, for 26 years. I’ve worked everything from cardiology to pulmonary, GI, emergency, geriatric, long-term care – you name it. I’ve been a wound specialist at large facilities in Edmonton. In rural Alberta, I was a wound care champion for acute care and long-term care. I was always with the union, all those years.
I’m 49 now. At 45, I was diagnosed with cancer. I had to take time off for treatment, followed by maintenance therapy. I was walking with a cane until this time last year, either because of the cancer or chemotherapy. I no longer have the bone strength to do heavy nursing.
I applied for dozens of jobs with Alberta Health Services and the union, but they never found me a suitable position, not even as a unit clerk. My disability benefit was running out, I had no money, and after two years of being off work, I’d used all my savings to survive. I’d been driving 200 kilometres each way for treatment, and I paid for my own travel expenses.
I went out on my own and applied for jobs at other places, and Bayshore was one of them. I came to the interview and felt so welcome, so engaged. Donalda and Laureen, who interviewed me, were just wonderful people. The first day, I had a real sense that Bayshore was a great place. I thought, who’s going to hire someone with stage four cancer? But they gave me a chance.
My first week at Bayshore, I fell and broke my wrist and elbow. I was in a cast my first week. I thought they’d let me go, but they didn’t. After my arm healed, I broke my toe. I thought, oh no, now I can barely walk! I was terrified I’d lose my job. And you know what? They kept me on. They saw my nursing potential and who I am, and the experience I have, and what I could bring to the company. They didn’t judge me on my cancer, my broken bones or the fact that I’d have to take time off for doctors’ appointments. And I tell you, this is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.
What do you like about working at Bayshore?
At Bayshore I see great morale, great camaraderie. It’s a very friendly and happy culture. Everyone is so supportive. They want to help you improve your nursing practice. They’re committed to their clients and their community. I don’t think I’d want to work anywhere else, to tell you the truth. I’m bragging about Bayshore all over town to my friends, telling them to apply for jobs. I’m really happy to be here.
And since I’ve been here, I’ve been doing well, getting healthier and healthier. My body has had time to heal, because I’m not doing heavy floor nursing. I’m doing great nursing in my position because of my experience. I can handle whatever comes my way, over the phone or in person, and delegate and educate.
What would you tell fellow nurses who are thinking about applying to work at Bayshore?
If you would like to feel appreciated, supported and even honoured for your knowledge and your nursing skill – if you want to feel like part of a team – this is where to work. I also feel that this is a job where you can move up, and there’s plenty of room to learn and experience new things. I’ve worked in facilities before, but I love home care now, and I’ll never go back.
On a personal note – I was widowed twice before I was 35. I raised four children by myself, struggling with shift work and the nature of working at facilities. I wish I’d had this job at Bayshore 10 years ago. If only I’d known. This is a wonderful supportive job for single parents – they can work around their child care and family responsibilities. Bayshore is willing to work with these employees to make sure they still get enough hours. It’s a nice work-life balance for single parents.
Lastly, Bayshore makes me feel like I have a purpose, and that I’m able to use my nursing experience and knowledge. I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity to work with this company.
For more information about Bayshore Home Health, call us at 1-877-289-3997.