Ordinary Seaman Éloïse Lavoie

Image Gallery

Sailor Profile / June 17, 2020

By Yves Bélanger

Ordinary Seaman (OS) Éloïse Lavoie of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Donnacona is a nursing student currently deployed to Manoir-de-Verdun, a long‑term care facility in the Montréal area.

OS Lavoie enlisted just over a year ago. “This is my very first deployment,” she says, noting that it all began for her on April 28. Since then, she’s been spending more than 30 hours a week with the residents.

For a Canadian Armed Forces member who has taken her nursing technical training course and who has already worked as an orderly in the past, the environment isn’t altogether unfamiliar.

“Of course, during the first few days, I was a little stressed, because working in a pandemic context was still new to me, but I quickly adapted to the situation,” she says.

She points out that some of her fellow reservists found it difficult in the beginning to see how isolation was impacting the seniors. “It’s not easy for seniors, particularly when there’s a health crisis, to no longer have access to any activities and be required to stay in their rooms,” says OS Lavoie.

She says that she loves the opportunity to connect with the patients and staff who work there. “It’s nice to work with and among them, especially since we were so warmly received when we arrived.”

Sometimes, OS Lavoie finds it difficult to leave patients when she is called to go to work on other floors. “But, at the same time, it makes me grow accustomed to letting go. That will be very useful in my future job as a nurse,” she says.

She is particularly proud to see that her work and the work of all her fellow reservists is producing good results.

“I’m proud to see that we’ve made a difference,” she says.

Reprinted with permission from Servir