Care Stories


Below is a series of care stories from nurses spanning Canada, the UK, and Hong Kong. Sharing care experiences like the ones below provides an outlet for expression and reflection, nurturing our compassionate nurses and allowing them to continue providing a high standard of care with less risk of experiencing emotional fatigue. Please have a read, enjoy, and do send me your feedback on this series created especially in honour of International Nurses' Day 2015.

Tahira Alarakhia is a Registered Nurse who has worked in pediatrics for 8 years. She started at the Alberta Children's Hospital (ACH) as a general pediatric nurse, specializing in external ventricular drains and peritoneal dialysis. After 3 years, she moved to the Rotary Flames House pediatric hospice and respite facility for 4 years. She has now moved into a Community Health School/Well Child Nurse role, working with healthy children from 2 months to 18 years of age, focusing on preventive care and health promotion.

Salim Pabani, R.P.N
Mental Health

Salim Pabani works at an Addiction Recovery Centre in Edmonton and has been working as a psychiatric nurse since 1995. He has worked on various hospital psychiatric units and in outreach programs for the mentally ill. He has also worked with youth and even operated self-owned group homes for brain-injured and senior clients. He developed a passion for caring for the mentally ill after high school but sensed there was a stigma around males entering the field of nursing. He dabbled in other jobs until he finally pursued a psychiatric nursing education in 1993.

Helen Cowan, R.N.

Helen Cowan studied human physiology at Oxford University from 1996-1999, then completed a PhD in cardiac pharmacology at Oxford in 2002. She is also a qualified nurse and has worked widely in cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, clinical trials and elderly care. She is a freelance writer and has peer-reviewed for and published in the British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, worked as a columnist in the Nursing Times, and written for local and online publications.

Ann Cartmell has worked as a clinical nurse specialist in breast services for the past 20 years, with a background in adult surgical nursing and psychiatry. Her role includes working as part of a multidisciplinary team and autonomously delivering holistic care to patients with a diagnosis of breast cancer. Ann is interested in developing the role of the clinical nurse specialist including role extensions which blur the boundaries of traditional roles and facilitate a streamlined approach to patient care.

Angie Lam, R.N.
Nurse Education
Helen Roe, R.N.

Angie Ho Yan Lam is currently a lecturer at the Tung Wah College in Hong Kong. She has worked across various clinical settings such as intensive care and psychiatric nursing. Serving in the academic field, she finds her passion in nurturing the next generation of nurses. Her teaching focuses on mental health and cardiovascular care.

Helen Roe has worked in adult cancer care for most of her career and has been a Consultant Cancer Nurse for the past 15 years. She has developed a wealth of skills and knowledge in cancer care, including the development of an acute oncology service across her organisation. Her clinical expertise is in the management of patients with breast cancer. Her key interests include management of chemotherapy-induced side effects and extravasations, venous access, and the development of cancer nursing roles.

Greg Crowhurst, R.N.
Family carer

Greg Crowhurst is a registered nurse who has spent the last two decades caring for his wife who has severe myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). He works hard to raise awareness about ME and to urge decision makers to acknowledge and treat it. His background is in nursing, training and development, experiential learning, counselling and life-coaching. Greg says that the love and friendship he shares with his wife, together with life coaching, have helped him to cope through his journey as a carer.

Helen Brewah is a qualified State Registered Nurse with a Post Graduate Diploma in Nursing, an MSC in Clinical Governance, and an honours degree in Community Nursing backed by 30 years of nursing experience in a wide range of appointments. She is currrently pursuing a professional doctoral degree in nursing.  She has experience in the care of the elderly, intensive care and community nursing and appointment as Marie Curie Nurse has also added new skill dimensions in managing patients with long term illnesses.