A staff member at Melfort Hospital took it upon herself to shine a ray of hope from the facility into the community this week.
Laura Alexander, a Licenced Practical Nurse (LPN), bought Christmas lights with her own money, and spent a few minutes out in the cold this week, putting them up on a balcony to spell the word “Hope.”
“I was inspired by a leader from the Emotions Anonymous Group I attend in Melfort, to spread the work and bring it to light…literally!” Laura said of why she did it.
Melfort Hospital staff member Laura Alexander spelled out "Hope" using Christmas lights on Melfort Hospital this past week. Photo by Lisa Sauder
“I wanted to do some little things to help boost morale,” she explained. “My co-worker, Kayla Kuzek, came up with an idea of doing a 12 Days of Christmas theme for December and asked for my help. I was elated to be involved, and it kind of snowballed from there. The ‘HOPE’ light display, which consists of three strands of Christmas lights, many zip ties and wire, took a pair or two of wet shoes and some very cold fingers to make. It was just a little something I thought could remind people, daily…when they came to work or drove by, that we can get through this together if we continue to have hope."
“Laura is an exceptional LPN who always goes above and beyond when caring for her patients. She truly is a bright light on our team and regularly comes up with ways to improve patient care and staff morale,” noted Nadine Mevel-Degerness, facility administrator for Melfort Hospital.
Laura Alexander is a "bright light" at Melfort Hospital, says the facility administrator. Photo by Dinah Olson
“When she came to me with the idea for the message, she indicated that she just wanted to send a positive message to our patients, staff and our community and it truly warmed my heart. It now greets us each day as we arrive at work and it gives us the boost we need to get through the challenging days we are experiencing right now,” Mevel-Degerness stated.
“Since COVID-19 came into our lives, I’ve depended more than ever on the support, kindness and love of my co-workers, managers, facility administrator, physicians, and other members of our health care team. I am fortunate that I work with such amazing people,” Laura said. “These other nurses are not only my co-workers and friends, but they are also my work family. We have been through everything together. We help bring life into the world, and ease the suffering of those dying. We’ve been through traumas and many busy shifts. COVID-19 has really made the last eight months challenging, personally and professionally. As a woman who suffers from bipolar 2 disorder, I found myself, more than ever, struggling with my mental health and could recognize that the people I love to work with, were suffering, too.
“COVID-19 might be scary but our unity as a team has never been stronger,” Laura continued. “I need to thank my friend Dave Favreau for his encouragement and support with my idea. He and his wife Pauline have been huge role models in my life. Thank you to my children and family. There are so many who have inspired me to do this.”
Laura hopes other hospitals and residents in Saskatchewan will take up this "Hope" movement. She encourages everyone to share their banners, signs, lights and actions.
“We could all use a little more hope right now."