Nurses Week 2019: Superhero Nurses at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Spotlights on Maite Browning, emergency nurse; Lucita Cruz, clinical support nurse; and Lynda VanVliet, clinical support nurse at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Having a sick child is a taxing experience for any parent, but the superhero nurses who care for these children and their families help create the best experience and smoothest process possible at The Hospital for Sick Children, also known as SickKids, in Toronto.


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Maite Browning


A nurse’s work is constantly changing, and for Maite Browning, succeeding in that kind of environment requires resilience and quick thinking. Maite, BMSc, BSc, RN, A-EMCA, also gets a helping hand from technology—including Qventus’ real-time insights and recommendations.

What are your main responsibilities and activities during an average shift?
As a lead clinical support nurse, I provide clinical practice support to front-line staff and acts as a resource to patients and health care team members within the unit. I coach and facilitate practice change and individual professional development. In addition, I manage the daily clinical care and patient flow issues to maximize consistency, continuity and efficiency. I strive to always demonstrate the skills and attributes of the CLEAR Model: Consistency, Leadership, Evaluation, Accountability and Resolution.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love working with patients, families and the emergency staff.

What is one common misconception about nursing that you wish could be clarified for everyone?
Many people look down on nurses or minimize what they do. A lot of this is caused by lasting misconceptions and stereotypes about nurses that are no longer (or never were) true. Nurses are key to quality medical care—without nurses, it’s unlikely that many of us would get the quality treatment at hospitals and clinics that we have come to expect.


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Lynda VanVliet


Lynda VanVliet, RN, knows a positive attitude and calming demeanor can go a long way when it comes to caring for patients—and their families—that come to her emergency department. She tries to dispel the misconception that ER nurses are grumpy one smile at a time, and uses Qventus to find slowdowns before they happen, resulting in a more positive experience for everyone.

What “superpower” do you wish you had that would make your job easier?
It would be great if there were no waits to see a provider, beds available upstairs if admitted, and if we were never short of nurses. 

How has new technology impacted your role in the past few years?
In so many ways, technology makes our job so much better—especially communication. We all have access to a patient’s chart online.

How do you use Qventus in your daily routine? How has this made your life easier?
I use Qventus every shift. It allows me to see where in the department resources need to be utilized. The nudges I get from Qventus alerts me to high volume areas that need support, thus helping our patients get seen faster.

Why do you love what you do?
I love helping people and I love the people I work with. They are so kind and caring, and they make a positive impact on their patients’ lives.


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Lucita Cruz


With more than 35 years of nursing experience in the U.S. and abroad, Lucita Cruz, RN, BScN, has honed exceptional skill using intuition as a tool to help patients and families, as well as her staff nurses.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is hearing feedback from families that we were able to support them and meet the care demands of their loved one. Going to the hospital can be a stressful and difficult time and often puts people in a vulnerable position due to the loss of control they feel and seeing their child sick. We as nurses have the ability to lessen this stress by ensuring families are involved in every part of their child’s care and showing kindness with every interaction. This could be as simple as offering an extra blanket or taking the time to listen to their problems and concerns.  

What is your “superpower” that helps you succeed as a nurse?
The superpower that helps me succeed as a nurse is being intuitive. Anticipating the needs of my staff nurses to ensure they are supported in their role so that they can provide optimal care to patients and families. Having been a nurse for 35+ years, I draw from my past experience and my knowledge base to help the nursing staff complete tasks that are time-sensitive and imperative to improve the wellbeing of patients.

I have worked in many hospitals in various countries throughout my career such as in the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and the United States, which has also allowed me to develop my critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities to help with my daily responsibilities as a charge nurse.  

What “superpower” do you wish you had that would make your job easier?
I would want to channel the power of “The Flash.” Being able to complete tasks using superhuman speed so that I can assist fellow colleagues in lessening their workload and decrease the waiting time for patients and families in the department.

How has new technology impacted your role in the past few years?  How do you use Qventus in your daily routine? How has this made your life easier?
At first, I was unsure if the introduction of this new technology will negatively affect the current work flow of the department. However, after learning how to use Qventus and seeing how it incorporated seamlessly into our daily routine, I have changed my stance. New technology like Qventus improves efficiency and predicts issues before they impact care by engaging the right team members to take action.

As a charge support nurse, I use Qventus to prioritize activities to improve patient flow. Qventus allows me to identify which areas have high patient acuity and send float nurses to these areas to help lessen nursing care demands. In this way, the nurses in these areas feel supported and patients are able to receive care in a timely and efficient manner. Qventus also makes me aware of how many patients are currently waiting and need to be seen. With this information I am able to coordinate with the staff physician to determine if the physician on-call is required to come in to assist with patient flow.