When Mackenzie Lotton graduated from Fleming College two years ago, she never imagined working alongside her mother at Ross Memorial Hospital. Nor did she imagine working amidst a global pandemic. But working in healthcare is right where Mackenzie wants to be.
“There is nothing more rewarding than going into work knowing that you are able to make an impact on someone else’s life,” said Mackenzie. “The good days outweigh the bad, and the bad days are what make me a stronger nurse.”
Mackenzie was inspired by her mother – a nurse for 30 years now – to become a nurse, as she grew up seeing what a rewarding career it is to help others, impact lives, and learn something new every day.
She chose Fleming College’s Practical Nursing program for her post-secondary education because she heard positive reviews about the program and the student experience at Fleming College, and the Sutherland Campus is commuting distance to her home in Lindsay, Ontario.
“I would recommend Fleming’s Practical Nursing program to others,” said Mackenzie, who graduated in 2018. “Fleming helped me achieve my goal to become a nurse in a manner that I don’t believe any other school could have. It prepared me for the real world of nursing the best that it could.”
Mackenzie now works in the Emergency Department at Ross Memorial Hospital, working as part of a healthcare team to care for patients in the best possible manner.
“Two years ago, I never thought I would be working in a hospital in my hometown, let alone working in a busy emergency department alongside my mom,” said Mackenzie. “There have been many ups and downs over the last two years of my new career, but I would not change a single thing about it.”
Mackenzie shared that she has learned so much from her colleagues and feels incredibly supported by them as she grows her career. This strong bond with her team is one of many reasons Mackenzie believes it is important for her to continue working amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everyone is working long hours and we all need that extra support of knowing that we are never alone in any of this and there is always help with you need it,” said Mackenzie.
She shared that her biggest goal is to be able to help patients and provide comfort, explaining, “Many of these patients that are coming into the hospital have to face all of the uncertainties alone, so if I can make a difference in someone’s hospital visit then I can leave my shift at the end of the day knowing I did my job the way it needed to be done.”
Mackenzie said her work routine has changed amidst the pandemic, which includes: wearing street clothing to work, wearing a mask, entering through a specific door, answering multiple questions and having her temperature taken by a screener, and changing into provided scrubs in her department.
“Work has changed from the minute I start my day until it ends due to rules that have been put in place to protect everyone,” she said.
Mackenzie’s advice to everyone is to be patient with frontline workers, who are doing their best to keep the community and themselves safe.
“With some restrictions being lifted, please keep in mind that we all still have to be smart with what we do in our everyday lives,” said Mackenzie, advising to handwash frequently. “The number of cases is beginning to decrease; however, this will only continue if we all work together as a community and country.”