Learning and passing on knowledge is a passion for Michael Weedmark, a nurse educator for CHEO’s inpatient surgery and float teams.
A graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Nursing and Algonquin College’s Anesthesia Assistant programs, he is currently completing his Master’s degree in education.
Michael started his nursing career at CHEO on the 4 North oncology unit eight years ago, but it was his yearning to grow his knowledge and gain different experience that drew Michael from pediatrics to the adult sector.
“I wanted to try adult critical care,” explains Michael. However, after working two years in the adult setting, he realized that working with the kids at CHEO is where he truly wanted to be. “It’s so much more rewarding to work at CHEO where you help kids.”
Since returning to CHEO, Michael has worked with a variety of units including the intensive care unit (ICU), surgery and the float team. Returning to pediatrics is a move he does not regret and says transitioning back to CHEO was easy for him. He credits the very supportive environment and process CHEO has in place for new and returning team members.
“When I came back, my nurse educator worked with me and we tailored an orientation that was more specific to me,” explains Michael. “I didn’t have to spend hours reviewing things I already knew. Coming from a critical care environment, it wasn’t the ICU knowledge that I needed, but the pediatric knowledge.” CHEO was able to cater an orientation specific to Michael’s experience, ensuring he was quickly in place at the bedside caring for children and youth.
During his onboarding, CHEO made Michael feel valued and acknowledged that he was a seasoned nurse. He credits his team of amazing co-workers whom he says “helped me grow as a nurse”.
Like so many at CHEO, Michael enjoys teamwork and the collegial feel of a pediatric setting. “At CHEO you know everybody, on every floor. Your unit becomes your family.”