Health Sciences

Health Sciences



May 23, 2019

Thank you for coming out and learning from our 3rd year nursing students at their annual Health Fair: playing games, learning lots, and taking away treats!

This year’s topics included Lyme Disease, Prostate Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Heart Attack, West Nile Virus, Drowning, and Hepatitis B………Great Job Everyone!

A Very Special Donation made to “A Port in the Storm”

April 11, 2019

Imagine finding out you must leave home for weeks or even months to receive essential medical treatment. What do you do? Every year, hundreds of rural and northern Manitobans and Northwest Ontarians learn that their necessary medical treatment for cancer or other life altering conditions are only available in Winnipeg – perhaps hundreds or thousands of kilometres from home.

A Port in the Storm was co-founded by RRC nursing instructor Joanne Loughery and was created so that people needing treatment in Winnipeg do not have to worry about managing an extended stay in costly impersonal accommodations. Rates on furnished suites are kept very low, so guests and family can afford to stay together in a comfortable environment. Home-like affordable settings and a supportive community atmosphere are core values of the organization. Therefore, to provide a restful home for someone pulled away from theirs by illness is an essential activity of the organization.

Joanne Loughery and Anne-Marie Kowatsch

RRC instructor Anne-Marie Kowatsch has recognized the importance of the core values of this organization. Anne-Marie is a member of the River Crazy Quilters. As 2018 approached, this group was looking for a 25th anniversary project, and once a bit of background was presented, A Port in the Storm was chosen unanimously. Some members already had quilts in varying stages of completion; others set to work to complete one or more quilts. The goal was to have a quilt for every suite. One of the Riverview members suggested that the Crescent Fort Rouge church quilting group would be willing to contribute quilts. Carellan Sewing Centre graciously donated their time to machine quilt several of the blankets. A true community spirit for an incredible cause.

This donation illustrates a labour of love and compassion for those who need additional support and the added comforts of home at times of need. A Port in the Storm would like to extend their extreme gratitude for this very special and thoughtful gift.

For additional information on the organization, please visit

Post written by Joanne Loughery and Anne-Marie Kowatsch – Nursing Instructors

Photos by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor

Nursing Department Participates in Both the 2019 RRC Open House and the 2019 Rotary Career Symposium

March 29, 2019

On February 19th 2019, Red River College hosted its annual Open House event. The Nursing Department was able to participate in this event by welcoming future students as they came to visit the Nursing lab. Nursing instructors were on hand to greet visitors and answer questions about our nursing and health care aide programs. Students were able to walk through the lab space and view the various skills equipment on hand.

The Nursing Department was also present at the Rotary Career Symposium that took place from March 11th – March 13th at the RBC Convention Centre. The booth was visited by many students, parents, and educators. Staff were able to discuss career opportunities for those interested in working as nurses or health care aides. Programs that the Nursing Department at Red River College has to offer, along with the admission requirements for those programs, were provided to visitors stopping by the booth.

A big thank-you to all of the Nursing instructors who participated in helping out with these two events!

Post and photos by Jennifer Fontaine – Nursing Student Advisor & RPL Advisor for HCA Equivalency

Getting a healthy start, Learning from the pros

March 7, 2019

During the month of February, our third year nursing students from Epidemiology and Illness Prevention held their Health Promotion Poster Fair! The Poster Fair educates the college community on preventable public health issues.

From learning about the importance of driving safely, taking care and caution in the sun, and the importance of body mechanics, faculty and students are now one step closer to taking care of themselves. Education on breast health, prevention of STDs such as Chlamydia, and vaccine-preventable illnesses like measles provided an excellent source of information to those who stopped by and visited the booths. Games, riddles, and questions helped engage interest of those walking by.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to support our students’ learning as they support all of us through their health promotion efforts.

Post and photos by Stacy Kutcher – Nursing Instructor (Adapted from post by Ana Stipanovic and Meagen Chorney)

Research and Innovation Day 2019

February 21, 2019

Thank you to everyone who participated and made Research and Innovation Day such a success this year!

Thank you to all our sponsors for your support!


A shout out to our top 5 presenters, and thank you to everyone who presented. This day wouldn’t be possible without you!!


1st Place Presentation

Palliative and End-of-Life Care: Dignity Therapy as an Intervention

Michelle Queau


2nd Place Presentation

Student Nurse Bullying

Elyse Griffith and Danielle Lewicki


3rd Place Presentation

Welcome to Aarhus Denmark: VIA Summer School Experience

Caitlyn Edwards and Alycia Dettman


4th Place Presentation

Experiences of Depressive Symptoms in Patients After Stroke

Samantha Eveleigh


5th Place Presentation

Photo Essay: Teenage Pregnancy Among Indigenous Communities in Manitoba

Alisha Rana and Pardeep Aulak





Research and Innovation Day – February 8th

January 17, 2019

The Nursing Department is hosting the fourth annual Research and Innovation Day on Friday February 8th! This event is an opportunity for students and faculty in the School of Health Sciences and Community Services to disseminate their research and engage in scholarly discussions. We’re looking forward to an amazing day full of fascinating student presentations and faculty presentations, an engaging keynote address from Dr. Lynda Balneaves, who will be sharing her research on Cannabis and Nursing, as well as exhibitors, door prizes, refreshments, and a pizza fundraiser hosted by the Nursing Students’ Association.

Check out our page for more details about Research and Innovation Day.

This event is open to current students and faculty from the School of Health Sciences and Community Services.

To register, please fill out our registration form. Registration closes on February 1st 2019.

Post by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor / Co-Chair: Research and Innovation Day

Cannabis 101

January 10, 2019

Following the legalization of cannabis by the Canadian federal government on October 17 of last year, Red River College tendered its inaugural offering of a course on cannabis called Cannabis 101. It was offered via the College’s Continuing Education Department under the auspices of the School of Indigenous Education. Starting on November 6, the course wrapped up December 13. There were 53 students in the class including three from the nursing faculty, Karen Burns, Kate Tate, and myself.

The two course leaders, Dr. Shelley Turner and Dr. Faith Dieleman, are both physicians and strong advocates for the medicinal use of cannabis. Dr. Turner is a family doctor practising in Ontario and Manitoba, who specializes in medical cannabis, addictions, and Indigenous health. Dr. Dieleman works closely with Dr. Turner as a research assistant. She is passionate about her work with addictions and has interests in medical education and ensuring accessible healthcare for all.

Appealing to a broad audience of individuals interested in varied aspects of information regarding cannabis, the course started with details on the legal regulations and restrictions on cannabis use both federally and provincially. Present day policies as well as those of the past were discussed by an inspector from Manitoba’s Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority.

The next few classes focused on cannabis plant botany – looking at the difference between cannabis and hemp, then discussion on the major well-known chemical constituents of the cannabis plant as well as information on less well-known chemicals that hold promise as new pharmaceuticals.

Plant genetics were covered in another lecture along with an overview of the current research and development in the medicinal cannabis industry. The students seemed to particularly enjoy the class on growing cannabis. The speaker for the evening brought several cannabis plants with him and was an affable and knowledgeable lecturer. After demonstrating the procedure for best getting cannabis seeds to grow, he invited the class to check in on Instagram as the plants sprouted and started to grow. He also brought along a number of boxes of cannabis ready for use, and the students enjoyed having a “sniff” of some of the interesting scents that can be created by different strains of the plant.

The focus of class switched to the commercial aspects of the new legal cannabis industry and the rules and regulations for those interested in becoming a commercial cannabis vendor, supplier, or grower.

The final lectures focused on the medicinal uses for cannabis and its potential in treating addictions, cancer, chronic pain, and relief of symptoms in some of the long term neuromuscular diseases like multiple sclerosis. Also included in this topic was emphasis on safety, social responsibility, and harm reduction strategies as they relate to cannabis use.

Dr. Turner is presently in communication with the College about subsequent educational courses related to cannabis.

Register for Cannabis 101

Post written by Evelyn Lundeen – Nursing Instructor

Happy New Year!

January 3, 2019

The Nursing Department ended 2018 with some holiday cheer! From holiday celebrations to giving back through our Christmas Hamper for the RRC Students’ Association, the department came together in the spirit of the season.

We wish everyone a fantastic 2019!

Post written by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor

Photos by Meagen Chorney, Jennifer Johnson, Tracey Fallak, and Bernie Mandrick

Holiday Food Drive for Agape Table

December 20, 2018

My name is Samantha Eveleigh, and I am a third-year nursing student. This year I have spent well over 100 hours working as a volunteer at Agape Table, a local soup kitchen that helps feed breakfast to 350-400 people a day who are experiencing low income or homelessness. Why do I do it? Growing up, my family was considered low income and utilized some resources like Agape Table. I felt it was my time to give back. I wanted to make a difference. While working at Agape Table, I repeatedly noticed that the kitchen was short on food donations. I quickly realized I couldn’t do it alone, so I started looking for guidance and support from others. I spoke with one of my nursing instructors, Tracey Fallak, and she along with many other instructors supported me throughout my food drive. In Discipline of Professional Nursing, we learn that we can lead from any chair (Zander & Zander, 2002).

I encouraged other nursing students to volunteer to get them involved in my cause, and there was a lot of interest! A poster was created and displayed on many walls of the Notre Dame campus. Selena Jasper, the Red River College Nursing Student Association president, helped me promote the initiative. My goal was to achieve 350 donations, and with the generosity of nursing students, nursing instructors, friends, and family, we more than doubled it! The food drive for Agape Table resulted in a collection of over 700 non-perishable food items. This will help feed well over 1500 people. When the donation was dropped off, they were so grateful and a lot of hugs were shared with the people at Agape Table. As a result of this event, I hope others will see what a small network of people can achieve and the difference they can make in the lives of others.

One of my instructors passed this on to me, and I thought I’d share it as well:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.

Post and photos by Samantha Eveleigh – Student Nurse

Shanghai International Nursing Skills Competition

December 13, 2018


My name is Lauren Lacroix and my competition partner is Jason Juell. For me personally, I have never been travelling overseas other than to your typical beach resorts. When I heard about this opportunity, I was an eager student coming to the end of my first year. I remember hearing the two instructors discuss it in front of our class; I couldn’t keep a smile off of my face. I turned to my friends and told them, “I am going to apply.” I went home, so excited to tell my parents, and they were so supportive of me. It was toward the end of exams in the middle of June, but I directed my focus to submitting my application and gathering a reference letter.

Once I got my application and reference letter submitted, I waited. I was out one afternoon and noticed I missed a phone call from the school, and to my excitement when I called the number back, I was offered an interview. When I was selected to be part of the team, we began our weekly practices. Little did we know those 10 weeks of practice were going to fly by.

Next thing we knew, we were boarding our 12.5 hour flight from Vancouver to Shanghai. Talk about ants in the pants for that flight, but we all slept and ate well. When we woke up again from our nap, we were landing in China. I remember getting off of the airplane and being stunned at the size of the airport. It was instant culture shock, and it was the most intimidating yet exciting experience I’ve ever been part of.

We hopped off the plane, being part of what felt like the Amazing Race to get our luggage, find our transporter to the hotel, and get comfortable in a new city. With being unable to communicate with others around us because of language barriers, we looked for signs with our names to get to the room. We got to our room comfortably, and got settled in for the night.

We had a few days to do some sight-seeing, shopping, and experiencing the Chinese culture. It was great to navigate the subway with the help of our fellow team members, visit temples, and bargain for some great deals in the subway market shops. The following day was our prep day, where we got to visit the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, where the competition will be held. We got to meet the other competitors, and get an understanding of how the competition would be set up. With overwhelming excitement and nerves, we went to bed that night to get ready for our 0745 start of the competition day.

Bright and early, our alarms go off. We meet for our breakfast, loading up on steamed custard buns to fuel the stress, excitement, and knowledge. We get to our seats for the competition, and watch a beautiful opening ceremony. Our instructors are guided to the front to pick out a number and a stage for us to compete on. There were 4 stages, with one round in total. All 34 teams would compete on either stage. We kept our fingers crossed that we were not the first ones, and thankfully we were up second. The teams that were not competing yet, including us, were huddled into a room, so we could not see or hear the other teams compete.


We anxiously anticipated our names to be called, so that we could begin our scenario. We were soon shuffled out of the room to our stage and given our scenario. We had 2 or 3 minutes, which felt like seconds to quickly read it, brain storm, delegate tasks, and remember all the points we had to complete, along with getting ourselves fitted for microphones on our own (which I put on us backwards, for the whole scenario). We were then asked are you ready, and they opened the curtain and said time has begun. We had 15 minutes for our scenario, which was very challenging, as we had a confused patient. We had to leave nerves at the door as much as possible, but it was not easy, especially when I was trying to get the bed to go up, and the bed was broken. We carried on as best we could assessing our patient, talking with them and the family, and applying our knowledge we have learnt while in school. Those 15 minutes felt like 5, and we were told our time was up, just as we finished. It was all over, and now the long wait, as we finished at 1015, and the closing ceremonies were not until 1600.

We anxiously awaited, wondering how we did, and enjoyed being able to watch all the other contestants perform their scenarios. Finally when closing ceremonies begun, we anticipated what would happen next. As they began to call out names, we thought we heard Red River College’s name being called, but with it being in Chinese and loud music we were second guessing ourselves, until others started pointing at us and telling us to go up. We were very excited, but also in shock, as we hesitantly walked up to the stage not knowing if we had truly won. We were then prompted by one of the organizers to come onto the stage, and then we waited, and then we received our trophy. Once we received our trophy I think it sunk in for both of us that all our hard work as a TEAM had paid off! We were grinning ear to ear holding our trophy, which was one of the heaviest I had ever held, about 7 or 8 pounds. We were 3rd place champions!!!

We made a lot of great friends while we were in China, as we connected with other teams. We had a great time with all the Canadian teams as we went out for supper one night as a group, and on the final night we joined some other teams for supper from the United Kingdom and United States. Meals were an enjoyable experience. The food was amazing, and not like your typical western Chinese food. We were not always sure what to order, as everything was in Chinese, so some days we would go to a restaurant and just point at what looked good. I had the honor, and the stress, of being chosen to be the food guide while we were there. I chose the first restaurant the first day, and everyone loved it! On the second day, someone else was supposed to pick, but somehow that didn’t happen, and it was delegated to me, and again I picked a winner! From there on out, I was nominated as the food guide for the rest of the trip.

China and the Shanghai International Nursing Skills Competition is an experience we will never forget, and we are so thankful to our classmates, fellow teammates, instructors, organizers, families and friends, and Red River College and their sponsors. We could not have done this without each and every one of you and are so proud and honored to have been chosen to be able to represent Red River College and the Nursing student body.

Thank you all for an unforgettable experience!

Post and photos by Lauren Lacroix and Jason Juell – 2018 Shanghai International Nursing Skills Team