“Nursing is an unbelievably challenging profession. It is appealing because it is a vector for empathy, love and care. Nurses have the ability and capacity to provide those things and are greatly respected for doing so.”
Nursing is a unique and challenging profession. It’s a chance to be at the forefront of healthcare, to work all over the world and to innovate solutions to pressing health issues. For Tim Vigneux though, it’s a chance to care for people. An outstanding School of Nursing 2014 graduate, Vigneux served as the President of the Nursing Undergraduate Society (NUS) for 2013/2014 and has been an exemplary student at UBC. As caring, compassionate and empathetic nurse, with outstanding skills and knowledge, we look forward to seeing what’s next from this rising star.
What has made your time at UBC the most memorable?
As is so often the case, it was not the institution itself that made for a memorable experience. Rather, it was the people therein that will stand out in my mind, for their friendship, intellectual stimulation and the ways in which they prompted me to take my life and my career to the next level. The intensive nature of UBC’s School of Nursing shapes the undergraduate nurses into tightly-knit groups where learning and friendships flourish. I am tremendously lucky to have been a part of that process; the friends I have gained are among the best in the world.
Why did you choose Nursing?
Nursing is an unbelievably challenging profession. Not everyone can do this job and fewer want to. It was appealing to me because it is a vector for empathy, love and care; attributes that are often lacking in people’s day-to-day lives. Nurses have the ability and capacity to provide those things and are greatly respected for doing so. We work with people when they are at their most vulnerable and – as the front-line of many aspects of healthcare – we endeavour to make the process more comfortable and less daunting.
Tell me about your experience with the School of Nursing. What have you learned that is most valuable?
It is difficult to downplay the technical knowledge endowed upon us during our two-years with the school. It would be impossible to go into the clinical workplace – a highly scientifically-oriented environment – without the necessary medical knowledge, and expect to survive a day without doing harm to our clients or ourselves. So, I guess that the vast quantity of nursing skills and knowledge has to be the most valuable, although the ability to think critically and independently is a close second.
How are you applying the skills you learned through your studies at UBC?
I have been hired as an RN with the Fraser Health Authority on a neurosurgery unit, where I will be working with a variety of clients with neurological medical issues, such as brain tumours, strokes, seizures, traumatic brain injuries, etc. I am excited for work to begin, and I anticipate that this next chapter in my nursing experience will be every bit as challenging as those preceding it. However, I believe that I am applying the skills that I learned through the School of Nursing on a daily basis, rather than only in the clinical setting. I look at the world in an entirely different way now, and I hope that I can make a positive difference in the community as well as in the workplace.
What has been your most memorable extra-curricular/volunteer experience while studying Nursing at UBC?
Undoubtedly, the most memorable experience for me was fulfilling my role as the President of the Nursing Undergraduate Society (NUS). This student union represents the interests of all undergraduate nursing students within UBC: it provides them with many benefits and social/athletic opportunities, fundraises and donates to charitable foundations and student awards on their behalf, and advocates for student nurses on the provincial and national levels. I was honoured to be able to lend my leadership skills to this position for the 2013 year, and I hope to be able to support this organization further in the future.
How do you feel a degree in Nursing has benefited you compared to a different field of study?
Nursing is one of the most portable professions out there. I can pick up and go anywhere in Canada (or the world, for that matter), and my skills will be applicable – the human body is fallible no matter what your geo-location. Nurses will always be needed, and within the profession there are a million different types of jobs I can do over the course of my career and never get bored.
What advice would you give to a student considering Nursing?
Make sure that you have a caring soul. This profession needs to be approached not as a job, but as a calling. If you dread interacting closely with people and listening intently to their wants and needs, then I encourage looking elsewhere for your education. If you get feelings of pleasure and personal satisfaction from lending a helping hand in a medical emergency, or if you wore scrubs to school as a kid because they were both practical and comfortable, or if you read the label of every over-the-counter medication that you buy and wonder how it affects your body, then I encourage you to follow through on your dream of becoming a nurse. Yes, family members and friends WILL come to you for medical advice, even if it has NOTHING to do with your specialty – and you will LOVE it.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I get inspiration from my clients – no matter how tired or stressed-out I feel, the individuals and families for whom I am caring are invariably more tired and stressed-out than I am. The emotional fortitude and love that I get to witness every day reminds me that I have more than enough strength to do what I need to do. If they can do it, I can do it.
What are your plans for the future–immediate? Long-term?
Immediately, I need to work in order to pay off my student debt and build on my experience. From what I hear, the majority of my true nursing education will come within the first year or two of acute nursing care. After that, once I feel more confident with my skills and knowledge and have tackled a significant portion of my loans, I plan on looking into volunteering overseas with an established charitable organization to provide medical services to those in need. Once I get that under my belt, who knows where I’ll go and what I’ll do next – I’ve always been keen on the leadership aspects of nursing…We’ll see.
How will you go on to make a difference in our world?
One step at a time, one day at a time. I’ll try to lead by example; if I can make someone smile, reduce someone’s pain, or make any sort of positive difference in someone’s day, I’ll consider that day a success. If everyone were to do the same, think of how wonderful the world would be. There’s enough time later in life for bigger, grander gestures. For now, let’s change the world from the bottom up.
Nursing is an unbelievably challenging profession. Not everyone can do this job and fewer want to. It was appealing to me because it is a vector for empathy, love and care; attributes that are often lacking in people’s day-to-day lives. Nurses have the ability and capacity to provide those things and are greatly respected for doing so.”
Text provided by Applied Science Student Related News 2014 interviews