International Women’s Day: Spotlight on Elizabeth Alabi
“I came to Canada very passionate about caring for the sick. When you’re able to help your patients, you know you’re making a real difference in their lives.
Elizabeth Alabi moved to Winnipeg from Nigeria with one goal: to use her specialized skills and passion to care for people on dialysis in her new home. She knew the road to realizing her dream would be long and bumpy at times, but Elizabeth was determined to succeed.
Alabi moved to Manitoba in September 2018, bringing with her not only skills but also experience gained over 10 years as a nephrology nurse in Nigeria.
“When I started my nursing career at the Federal Medical Center in Abeokuta Nigeria, I was appointed to undergo training in nephrology nursing,” Alabi said. “They were about to start the nephrology unit at the center, so I completed the training and was one of the people who started the hemodialysis unit.”
Alabi’s passion and strong leadership skills were quickly noticed by her colleagues and supervisors and she quickly took on responsibilities within the unit.
“I was responsible for educating patients, their families, educating students, training new staff and I was also responsible for providing pre, intra and post dialysis care to patients”, Alibi said. “I really enjoyed working in the unit as it gave me the opportunity to provide holistic nursing care to patients with acute and chronic kidney disease and to use the high tech hemodialysis machine to treat the patients.
As an internationally educated nurse, Alabi had to meet a number of educational requirements before she could use her full skills in Canada. Undeterred by the challenge, she first got a job as a supportive care worker, then trained as a health care aide and eventually completed a nursing transition program at Assiniboine Community. Middle School. In September 2021, just three years after arriving in the country, Alabi was ready to fulfill her dream.
“I came to Canada very passionate about caring for the sick,” she said. “I love providing care to anyone in need – physically, emotionally and psychologically. When I came to Canada I was focused and dreaming of the day I would start working in the dialysis units. I love nephrology nursing because it’s an intellectually stimulating, dynamic and demanding nursing specialty.You’re always on the go and you’ll never get bored.That’s what drives me – I love learning new things every day.
Alabi is passionate about the continuing education and lifelong learning opportunities available to nurses working in the specialty.
“We are very happy to have Elizabeth on our incredible kidney health team,” said Donna Lee Samson, Director of Health Services, Kidney Health Program, HSC. “From the start, his passion for kidney health was evident. Her commitment, dedication and positive spirit were essential in her learning and working with our patients and other team members.
Working as a nephrology nurse means staff get to know their patients better, largely through regular appointments and longer-term care, Alabi said. It’s these connections that are among the many facets of her job that make Alabi love her job as a licensed practical nurse.
“It’s a family circle with both the nurses and the patients and their families. In the nephrology unit, you have a longer period to monitor your patients, advocate and establish healthy professional relationships. When you’re able to help your patients, you know you’re making a real difference in their lives.
For those considering a career in healthcare, Alabi suggests taking a closer look at kidney care. “The Nephrology Nursing specialty provides competent holistic patient care and patient care through the use of the high-tech Hemodialysis Lifesaving Machine. We have close interactions, improve the quality of life of our patients and keep them alive. Being able to provide quality and competent care to prolong their lives is very fulfilling and rewarding.
As part of International Women’s Day 2022, Shared Health is highlighting some of the many incredible women in health care who dedicate themselves to the health and well-being of Manitobans every day.