Our Stories

St. Michael's Q-and-A: Shruti Naik, registered nurse, Inpatient Mobility Unit

Toronto, May 29, 2013

By Patricia Favre

Shruti Naik Shruti Naik (Photo by Yuri Markarov)

St. Michael’s Hospital has a number of nurse champions who take on leadership roles to support change within a unit and the hospital. Registered nurse Shruti Naik tells us about the role and what it means to her.

Q. What made you want to become a nurse?

I was drawn to nursing as a career because it is a science as well as an art. I was always interested in the health sciences and chose nursing because of the diversity of opportunities available in the field. Nursing is a very dynamic and caring profession and you can always grow and transition into a different role or specialty if you are willing to learn and work hard.

Q. How did you first get involved as a nursing champion?

I first got involved as a nursing champion with the Preventing Falls is SIMPLE program. I was approached by my CLM and asked if I would be interested in taking on the role of champion for our unit. I accepted the position as I was extremely interested at the prospect of working with my peers to implement new practices and improve patient care.

Q. What does it mean to you to be a champion?

To me, being a nursing champion means acting as a supporter and facilitator. As a unit and a hospital, we are working to implement change in our practice to provide the best care we can to our patients. It is my responsibility to ensure that staff on my unit are aware and educated about the initiative and to always be available to them to answer any questions or concerns they might have. As a champion I also act as a liaison between staff and management so that concerns can be shared and addressed.

Q. What are the biggest challenges you face in this role?

As a champion, I work to implement new practices and help sustain them at a unit level. Some of the biggest challenges I face are pushback from change resistors and communication barriers. However, I have learned that all staff want to provide the safest and most effective level of care for patients. Listening to the staff concerns, sharing evidence-based information and working together as a team, we are able to get everyone involved and stay committed to new initiatives.

Q. If you could be any nurse in history or fiction, who would you be and why?

If I could be any nurse in history or fiction, I would choose to be Carla Espinosa from the TV show “Scrubs.” There are numerous famous nurses in history such as Florence Nightingale, [American Red Cross founder] Clara Barton and [mental health advocate] Dorothea Dix, who are all wonderful role models and trendsetters, and I have great respect and appreciation for them. However, I find that Carla is a character I can relate to. She is a great nurse who is compassionate, conscientious and approachable. She is always willing to help her colleagues with patient care. She has a sense of humour, but at the same time has a no-nonsense attitude and is well-respected and liked by her colleagues. Most of all I like the fact that she is constantly advocating for her patients.

See More of Our Stories in 2013