TEESWATER – It started with the lambs.
When Patricia Stein was a little girl, she would race down to the barn to see if any of the little lambs on the family farm had been injured, telling her mom that she would look after it.
She knew she wanted to be a nurse when she grew up. At the age of 20 her dreams are becoming reality, as she prepares to write her registration exam to become a Registered Nurse.
As a teen, she was an active member of the Ripley Sheep 4H club, her room at the farm is a testament to her time there, lined with many of the ribbons she won showing her lamb at various fall fairs.
A trip to Haiti with her church group reinforced her desire to become a nurse, so she could go back someday and help, even though it can be more dangerous on the remote island.
She remembers residing in a compound while they were there, being warned “not to go outside at night,” and fierce guard dogs would surround the building, protecting the health care workers inside.
“The dogs would also attack us if we went out, they wouldn’t know us, so they wouldn’t know the difference,” Stein said.
“I wasn’t worried, I knew the dogs would protect us,” saying she never left the compound after dark.
The 20-year-old has spent the last two and a half years living in Peterborough, attending Fleming College in their nursing program.
She has spent the last part of her education fighting to complete her program, amidst a global pandemic that has seen unprecedented closures of schools and businesses across Canada.
In a recent Facebook post Stein said, “After months of the exit exam getting pushed forward and not knowing when we were going to be writing, it is finally done.”
And she can happily say she passed.
“Only four more weeks of consolidation and I will officially be done the RPN program and able to go write my registration exam. Which will hopefully be in just a few short months! So excited to see what nursing has in store for me next.”
Perseverance and a strict study schedule contributed to the success of the exit exam, the 86 per cent grade is a testament to her dedication.
Currently, she splits her time between Peterborough, living in a rented house with other school mates, and at home, on the family farm in Teeswater.
Working at Peterborough’s Springdale Country Manor for her placement, she is enjoying some practical learning as a Personal Support Worker (PSW). As part of the training, she spent time job shadowing and has now advanced to the hands-on aspect of the profession under the supervision of nurses at the senior’s residence.
Her only grievance about the disruptions caused by the pandemic is the disorganization, which hasn’t made things easy when planning her schedule.
But, her mom said, “she is a dedicated studier,” and with that exemplary trait, Stein has managed to see it through and she is excited to start planning her move to Haiti.
With the registration exam date coming up, her stress levels are higher than normal, but she just sticks to her study schedule, which she has taped to her wall, highlighted in pink.
She looks forward to completing her exam and getting on with becoming the best nurse she can be.
Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times