Keeping vital health care all in the family

When she got the devastating health news, two years ago, Enid Singh first felt lost and hurt.

“I was shocked and devastated and did not know what to do next,” she said.

But when the diagnosis of cancer had sunk in, Singh knew she had but one person to turn to, her daughter-in-law, Cheryl Nelson-Singh. She knew that she would get the care she needed.

Nelson-Singh is currently on staff at the Toronto East General Hospital as nursing practice leader and clinical educator within the emergency department. Kevin Edmonson, manager of the hospital’s ER, recognizes Nelson-Singh’s capabilities on the ward.

“She is positive, friendly and approachable, which is exactly what you want in that kind of role and people love to go and talk to her and ask questions,” Edmonson said.

He explained that Nelson-Singh is an educator in the ER and is responsible for leading the staff of 130 nurses. She provides them with coaching and mentoring.

“She is a phenomenal nurse, so her clinical practice is wonderful,” he said. “She is an on-going learner keeping up with current nursing practice.”

Nelson-Singh is also a wife and a mother of twin 18-month-old infants, Eva and Sebastian. Each day before going on shift, Nelson-Singh is up at 5:30 a.m. preparing breakfast and lunch, cleaning the twins and getting them ready for their home-care provider when she arrives at 7 a.m. She starts work at 7:30 a.m. and gets back home at 4:30 p.m. to take over from the home care provider and she never gets to bed until about 12:00 a.m.

“It is important to be organized, especially if you have multiples,” Nelson-Singh said.

Despite the workload at home, nurse Nelson-Singh, still manages to be there for her mother-in-law, dropping her off to doctors’ appointments and paying frequent home visits.