Nurse: Sue Starling, Care Coordinator, Wound Care, WWCCAC

Sue StarlingWhat inspired you to become a nurse?

I was inspired to become a nurse because I fell in love with human biology.  At a young age, I was so curious about the mechanics of the human body probably inspired by staying at my grandparent’s farm.  I wondered how the body worked, why the blood is red, and why humans do not have gizzards.  I loved science but also understand the importance of caring about people.

I grew up in a small town, and I learned at a young age how the social determinates of health impacted people. I was so fortunate to live in a strong community that established sustainable resources to assist town citizens who were struggling with poverty, homelessness, addictions, lack of social supports, and low level education.   For example, the community helped to facilitate employment for the spouse of an alcoholic, so their children had a home and food on the table.  All the children at school were encouraged to bring extra food to share with classmates who did not have a lunch so they had enough energy to learn. I learned at a young age the importance to accept others without discrimination and be compassionate.  It is no surprise that I became a community nurse with a strong focus on health promotion, prevention, and evidence based practice. 


What is your favorite part of your role?

The favorite part of my role is to see the growth of knowledge and adoption of wound care best practices among nurses, care coordinators, and patients.   Knowledge transfer is vital to ensure evidence based research guides decision making and supports patient centred care outcomes.  


How would you describe the impact you have on the lives of your patients?

My goal is to improve health and quality of life for our patients.  By following wound care best practices, patients do experience positive outcomes.  I will navigate the system and coordinate seamless delivery of services from a variety of community resources using a client centered approach.  Building relationships with the patient, family, and the interdisciplinary team is imperative for successful outcomes. 


Why is being a nurse meaningful to you?

Being a nurse is important to sustain and improve the health of people by facilitating change in society to support health for all.  It is vital to sustain and improve health by building individual capacity, by addressing root causes of illness, by facilitating access and equity, and by promoting health and prevention. It is important for nurses to advocate at the level of the patient, the community, and government where decisions about health are being made to improve patient outcomes.