RPN wins provincial award of excellence in mental healthcare
“I’ve always had a desire to understand people and their emotional struggles,” she said. “I’ve always had the ability to understand what people are feeling since I was a young age and I was interested in understanding how I can help.
“I feel this passion inside me anytime I’m able to care for a patient,” she added. “‘I’m here, I feel you, I got you. I’m here to speak on your behalf.’ Some of them have never felt that or haven’t had that support.”
Hawrylyshn credits her ability to connect with patients and their families to skills she learned while studying in the social services worker program at Niagara College before switching to nursing. She brings a trauma-informed lens to her role, which shifts the focus from what’s wrong with someone to what happened to them, getting a complete picture of a patient’s situation in order to provide effective and healing care.
She’s also a big proponent of Niagara Health’s Recovery Model, which stresses that if a patient is ready to make a change, she will be there to support it.
“We’re there to give options,” she explained. “They’re guiding the way. You look at each person as an individual and you really listen to them and decide ‘How can I help this person achieve their goals? What do they need? You have to get to know a patient to be able to advocate for their needs.”
That passion and compassion she brings to Niagara Health isn’t lost on her colleagues.
“Her experience has definitely provided a positive impact throughout the entire team,” said Jibin Ninan, Clinical Manager of Inpatient 1A and Consultation Liaison programs. “She is passionate about the care she provides to the patients and she does not shy away from expressing her thoughts, ideas and solutions with the interdisciplinary team when discussing complex patients and situations. Her patient-centered approach and genuine care for the patient is certainly notable.”
Hawrylyshyn was moved to tears when the words of her nominators were read at the WeRPN ceremony.
Even though her name was the only one mentioned for this particular award, she doesn’t see it as hers alone. Like Steve Jobs also said, ‘Great things … are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.’
“I felt, for myself and for Niagara Health, this was recognition for what we do day in and day out,” Hawrylyshyn said. “I felt I was accepting this award for the team, too.”