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Be Seen, Be Heard: Kaylee Heath, Region 3

Provincial Young Workers Committee
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Kaylee Heath is a registered nurse. She works at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care since 2013. She also is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Kaylee takes pride in being involved in her local executive committee and a union steward.

Before becoming a nurse, Kaylee began working in the healthcare field as a medical laboratory technician. She’s also worked as a residential support worker for Community Living residential homes. Kaylee began working at Waypoint as a practical nurse and studied part-time to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing through Nipissing University. Kaylee finished university in 2019 and began working as a registered nurse (RN) in March, 2020.

Kaylee spends her free time being active both indoors and outdoors. Kaylee plays flat track roller derby for the South Simcoe Rebel Rollers and is very connected with her community: she’s a member of the Town of Penetanguishene’s Community Wellbeing Committee and she is also a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario.

COVID-19 Impact Statement:

Although I don’t work as a medical nurse, mental health and physical health conditions do not exist in silos. With the announcement of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, Waypoint responded to this challenge by opening a central admission and isolation unit for the entire hospital. I, along with other healthcare workers from throughout the hospital, was redeployed to this unit upon its initiation. I have seen a large impact on our patient’s mental health during these times as well as their physical health.

As a new RN graduate, being a leader on this unit has challenged all of my existing skills as a nurse, a teammate, and as a pioneer of this new department. How we dress at work has changed, how we interact and care for clients on a unit has changed, how we admit, transfer, and discharge patients has changed. What has not changed is our passion and commitment to providing patients with the highest level of mental health care, dignity, and compassion.

Despite the ever changing environment and obstacles we have faced, I can say that we have overcome and accomplished things that were once unfathomable to us a year ago in this field. We may not have come together as a team by choice but we definitely have grown together and flourished in our new roles. I could not have been successful in my new role without the skilled and steadfast team supporting me daily.