(Shelley) Since April 20th, the Canadian Armed Forces have been providing support in Quebec and Ontario as part of Operation LASER, the CAF response in the context of COVID-19.
With the CAF recently transitioning out of their active role in long-term care facilities in both provinces, we’re joined today by Lieutenant Celene Stamper, a CAF nurse who was deployed in a Montreal facility, to speak more on what it means to have contributed to such a historic effort.
What were your duties and involvement in assisting long-term care facilities during Operation LASER?
(CS) I'm a registered nurse. I was working within my full scope at the long-term care facilities. So, I was doing anything from assessing the patients, taking vital signs, doing other assessments with them, administrating medication, doing wound care and talking with the families.
(S) What was the most challenging part of this operation?
(CS) A difficult aspect was wearing the PPE. So, the PPE was really hot. Some of the homes didn't have air conditioning. So, you're wearing all this equipment and trying to do your job in it. That was a challenging aspect as well.
(S) So what have you taken away from this experience?
(CS) For me, I really didn't expect... I just started the military over the last year and I never thought I'd be deployed within that year, especially within my own country and being able to help fellow Canadians. Just being able to help was a great experience for myself and just how great all the staff at the long-term care homes, like the nurses and other healthcare providers, how hard they work every day besides in the pandemic.
(S) What is the feeling amongst residence upon your departure?
(CS) During the whole experience, they were very appreciative that they were there. As soon as they heard that the Army was there they were super excited and happy. So, I think overall, they had a good experience.
Thank you very much.
(S) Thanks so much. Have a good day.