Rhianna Barry: Embracing challenges and learning opportunities as a new nurse

In junior high, Rhianna Barry had an affinity for healthcare and knew it was where she was meant to end up.

Fast forward a few years and Rhianna enrolled at Memorial University of Newfoundland to study nursing.

“I just knew that I was meant to be a nurse,” reflected Rhianna Barry. “I really like how nursing is so broad and allows me to work in a variety of locations.”

The flexibility allowed Rhianna to move with her partner from Newfoundland to Arnprior where she began her career as a registered nurse at the Grove Nursing Home.

A close-knit home with meaningful connections

Rhianna has enjoyed the home-like culture at the Grove and has found a supportive team, meaningful connections with residents and many opportunities to learn and grow professionally.

“The team is really great and there are many times that your colleagues step up and help you out,” explained Rhianna, who started at the home in December 2018 as a new nursing graduate.

Rhianna splits her time between caring for the residents and providing support in the administrative office. During COVID-19 this has also included swabbing staff for their bi-weekly surveillance test and giving fellow colleagues and residents their flu shots.

But what brings a smile to Rhianna are the opportunities to chat with the residents.

“I enjoy taking care of the residents and helping them meet their healthcare needs in a time where they are more vulnerable,” said Rhianna. “I love getting to chat with them. Or if they have advanced dementia, I focus on communicating with them in a different way that allows you to know that you’ve made a connection with them.”

New challenges and growth

In Rhianna’s nearly two years at the Grove, she feels fortunate for all the continuing education she has completed to build her knowledge and skills.

In addition, Rhianna is the co-lead for the Grove’s Palliative Care Team. This has included a train-the-trainer course (before the COVID-19 pandemic) that focused on communication at the end-of-life. The plan is to roll this out to the team in the near future.

“I am proud that I’ve been able to step into different roles and new challenges early in my career,” said Rhianna. “I’m happy that this is my first nursing job and that I get to work at the Grove.”