Madison Lewis, or better known to her colleagues as Madi, has been working in the IWK Emergency Department (ED) for five years. She knew early on that the IWK ED was destined to be her home and has been thriving in the work environment built on teamwork and adaptability.
“The beauty of being an emergency nurse is that you never know what the day is going to bring,” says Lewis about the every-day tasks of an ED nurse. “Every day is different and unpredictable, and that’s what I love about it.”
Lewis grew up in Halifax and attended Dalhousie University for her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. It was during school that she decided to direct her career towards pediatrics, a choice that came naturally to her as a lover of working with children and a former daycare worker in her teenage years. Lewis says that the IWK ED specifically made a lasting impact on her when she completed her final clinical placement there and decided it was where she wanted to stay. Now, Lewis can be found coordinating the ED team as one of the Primary Charge Nurses.
“Day-to-day my job is mainly keeping my finger on the pulse of what’s happening. That means managing where patients would be best treated or who is best to treat them. It also includes coordinating transfers from other hospitals and working in collaboration with every single person in the department. The nurses, physicians, ward aides, ward clerks, housekeepers, we’re all one big team and we all have to work together.”
Lewis stepped into this new role a during turbulent time for the ED, and for health care workers everywhere. With the COVID-19 response requiring new thinking at every level, Lewis was always confident in the ED team’s ability to roll with every change that came their way.
“It’s been a year of challenges and changes; we’ve had to rethink how we do everything in the ED. From doing a renovation to the physical space to how we provide care to our patients, we’ve had to rethink everything. We took over the Shared Clinics space where we separated potential-COVID positive kids from non-infectious patients, we had to rethink the way we do resuscitation and the trauma team activations and even our simple day-to-day care had to be continuously assessed against new practices.”
“It hasn’t been easy but a lot of teamwork has gone into it to make it happen. It’s been a lot of adapting but as emergency room nurses we’re an adaptable bunch,” says Lewis. “You always have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
“Although there are certainly difficult days, there’s also a lot of laughter and fun that comes with the job too. Kids make my work fun and, even though it sounds strange to say about an Emergency Department, they make it a really happy place too. It’s so rewarding and I think a lot of team members feels the same way. We a close-knit group and teamwork really is the key to all of it.”