From Days of Saving Bunny

Posted: March 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

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The doctor’s note said that the elderly patient was in advanced dementia and that she should be moved to a nursing home. Having known the patient well, Marcia Carr, an experienced nurse, suspected that a potentially drastic error had been made.

Dealing with adversity and facing challenging decisions is nothing new for this veteran of the healthcare profession. In recognition of this, Marcia Carr will receive The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal on Sunday, February 03, 2013 at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby for her invaluable volunteer service for the Nikkei Healthcare and Housing Society.

Mrs. Carr a Japanese Canadian now 65, takes a moment to reflect back on her extraordinary nursing career which has spanned over 45 years. She has spent the last 18 of those years working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist servicing the whole Fraser Health Authority, from Burnaby to beyond Boston Bar.

At a young age, Marcia already had an idea of what she wanted to do with her life. “I have always wanted to be a healthcare provider of some sort,” she says with a faint smile. “At the age of six, I tried to resuscitate this very dead pet bunny by performing CPR. From that moment, I knew I was going to be a nurse.”

From her days of trying to revive a family pet to her many years in the nursing profession, she has been a volunteer at the Nikkei Seniors Health Care and Housing Society for the last 15 years. The society is a voluntary, nonprofit institution, and its sole purpose is to look at health care and housing for Japanese Canadians in the Lower Mainland of B.C.

Mrs. Carr has been continually providing seniors with a culturally sensitive environment and comfortable atmosphere that ensures the best quality of life. Additionally, with her leadership in nursing gerontology, service as a member of the board of directors, and providing healthcare workshops, she will be recognized with The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

The commemorative medal was designed to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her service to Canada. It is also meant to honour the contributions made by Canadians who represent the full range of our society.

Receiving this award and being recognized by the community has been an enormous honor and privilege for Mrs. Carr. “I believe very strongly that you need to give back to society,” she says. “The commitment that volunteers bring to many situations will hopefully make B.C. a better place to live for everyone. As much as I am honoured to get this award, it is important to understand that this medal represents a group effort, and as a group, I believe we can move mountains.”

To her co-workers, the medal comes as no surprise. Tom Teranishi, another member on the board of directors and a longtime friend, says that it would take days to list all the amazing work Marcia has done for the society.

“She has always proven to be a well-rounded professional,” he says. “I find her to be a very caring person and that she is always very sensitive to other people’s needs.”

With all the work Mrs. Carr has done over her many years of service, there are no signs that she plans to quit anytime soon. In fact, she says receiving this award has only fueled her passions for the next phase of the Nikkei Healthcare and Housing Society. Her plans to help renovate the Nikkei home to accommodate residents who have developed dementia may soon be a reality.

“I feel that I have a reasonable knowledge and experience in the care with older adults with dementia,” she says. “I am ready to step up in terms of whatever education and support is needed to help the staff and the families.”

It was that knowledge and experience that compelled her to Challenge a doctor’s diagnoses of a patient. She knew how cognitively intact the patient was, and there was no reason, as far as she was concerned, for the doctors to believe that she was in dementia. She did a full assessment of this patient, talked to the physicians, and the diagnosis was switched from dementia to delirium. The underlying cause of the delirium was, as she had suspected, an ongoing urinary tract infection.  They were able to treat this woman correctly and transition her back to the Nikkei home, where she continues to live and improve. That was Two years ago.

Although it is true that it takes many to move mountains, sometimes a singular effort is all it takes to change someone’s life.

References

Marcia Carr

Tom Teranishi

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

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