Janelle Schroeder Career Spotlight
Janelle Schroeder is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) who works in Moose Jaw. Below is her experience working with the Saskatchewan Health Authority:
What area of healthcare do you work in? Where do you work?
"I work in the operating room at the Dr. F.H. Wigmore Regional Hospital in Moose Jaw."
What are you responsible for as a Licensed Practical Nurse? Please describe a typical day for yourself.
"As an LPN in the Operating Room, the majority of my role revolves about scrubbing cases. Depending on the service I am working with, I will be either be the main scrub or only scrub nurse in the theater. My role is to remain sterile throughout procedures, help the surgeons and surgical assistants by having the appropriate sterile set ups for the surgery and passing equipment and tools in a safe and sterile way to the surgeon. When I am not scrubbing, I help the anesthesiologist safely get patients ready for their surgery with whatever type or anesthesia is being used for that specific surgery (asleep, spinal anesthesia, etc.)."
How is your work-life balance as a Licensed Practical Nurse? Please compare your current experience with other jobs you have had in the past.
"As an LPN in the operating room, I get to go home everyday at 4 pm; I get to spend supper and evenings with my family as well as take my kids to majority of their activities. I get most of my weekends as well as holidays off as the operating room is only open for emergency cases those days. You are expected to be on call for any emergency surgeries on some weekends, weekday evenings and holidays. Compared to when I was working as a floor nurse, I would work 12 hour shifts, both days and nights and some days you wouldn’t get even see your kids cause they would be sleeping by the time your shift ended. So progressing to working in the operating room has helped maintain a more consistent work-life balance and schedule."
Have you always wanted to be a Licensed Practical Nurse? Tell us more about your career path!
"I always wanted to be a nurse, my mom was a nurse and I always felt drawn to helping people. I graduated from LPN school in 2007 and immediately started working in an acute care setting in Saskatoon. I worked on medical wards for 4 years before moving to a float position that took me to a couple surgical units as well as palliative care. I was very interested in surgery and the operating room. In 2011 I moved to Moose Jaw and begin taking the perioperative course in 2012. I have been working in the operating room ever since."
Are there opportunities to further your career as a Licensed Practical Nurse?
"I have been an LPN since 2007 and I have seen a huge advancement in the roles of LPNs, we can take extra courses such as the Operating room tech course, Dialysis course and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS). Many LPNs are in management roles in the long term care settings as well. Like I mentioned before, I used to work 12-hour shifts on a variable schedule that included nights and weekends but after taking the Perioperative course to work in the operating room, I got to work a more consistent schedule Monday to Friday so there can be excellent perks of taking specialized training for not only advancing your career but also supporting your personal life, family, schedules, etc."
Do you have any advice for students or new graduates looking to pursue a career as a Licensed Practical Nurse? Are there specialty areas that are in more demand than others?
"Ask questions, we are so lucky to work in a setting with all type of health-care workers, the knowledge that every single one of your coworkers has can be such a valuable resource. Always keep learning health-care is ever-changing so there is always something new coming out. Are there specialty areas that are in more demand than others? The operating room is in high demand for LPNs/ Operating Room (OR) Technicians. With surgical wait times of at an all-time high, we are on a mission to get our patients the surgeries they are waiting for in a timely manner. As a result, we are trying to open more OR times for those surgeries so we need more trained staff to help."
What is the number one thing you love about being a Licensed Practical Nurse?
"My favorite thing about being an LPN in the operating room is that every day is different. You will be on a different service with different surgeons and a whole different team. It's never boring! It is very rewarding to know that you were a part of helping save a patient's life or being part of a surgery that will greatly benefit their quality of life. This is the only area of nursing that you really get to see it first hand and that's really cool."