For Dovina Constance, choosing a career wasn’t just about getting a paycheque – it was about finding a passion. “I started out exploring other areas of health care, but I left chiropractic college after just one week, before I decided to pursue nursing. It was the best decision I ever made.”

Dovina went back to school for nursing, and since then, she’s continually found herself at Mount Sinai, starting with a student placement in 2010, and a second placement in 2011. While she had considered working in public health, she says she “fell in love” with surgical nursing during her placement here.

“Working in surgery and with IBD patients has been such a gift to me,” explains Dovina. “Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis can be very isolating – people can feel so alone. I hope that through providing care, I can help remove some of the shame that is associated with the disease. I also want patients and families who experience IBD to know that there are countless people working every day in different areas of the health care system, who are actively trying to improve treatment options, and hopefully one day find a cure.”

After working for a few years as an RN, Dovina continued to pursue her passion, and went back to school to do a master’s in nursing, while continuing to work full-time at Mount Sinai as a nurse. “Working full time while going to school was exhausting, but I wanted it and I made it happen!” she says. Shortly after finishing school, Dovina was hired on at Mount Sinai as a Clinical Nurse Specialist on 14 South. She says that there is “something special” about her team on the floor, and “there is a genuine passion amongst the whole team here, everyone is so invested in the patients and we are like a family. I’m so appreciative, and I never feel alone.”

In addition to her work, Dovina spends some of her off-hours continuing to care for others. “My grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease a few years ago, and I live with her now to help support her care. It’s an amazing opportunity to connect with my family, and my values and purpose,” says Dovina. “Caring for my grandmother has taught me so much about maintaining a work-life balance and caring for myself, so I can help care for others. And I’m glad to bring the perspective of a family caregiver to my work, too.”

While Dovina’s time is packed with work and family, she still finds time to do the things that she counts as self-care. “I love to hit the gym and lift weights – I’m really into deadlifts right now. I also read a ton – fiction, non-fiction, a bit of everything. And I love the opportunity to spend time with my family – we’ll hit up Niagara Falls when we can, but not in the winter – it’s too cold!”