Maria Becerra knew from a young age she wanted to work in health care. “I was always very fascinated by the human body and how it works,” she says.
Maria’s work is now focused on a specific and important function of the human body—healing wounds. As Bridgepoint’s Advance Practice Nurse for wound care, she specializes in treating all kinds of wounds to optimize healing. She’s also an expert in preventing pressure injuries (formerly referred to as bed sores), a common and potentially serious complication for patients who require a long stay in the hospital.
In her role, Maria moves between Bridgepoint’s inpatient units, consulting on cases on a referral basis. “I need to consider all aspects of a patient’s condition to make a nursing diagnosis, recommend a treatment plan and evaluate outcomes,” she says. “I work collaboratively with other members of the health care team, which is important because wounds do not exist in isolation. You have to look at the whole picture and any underlying conditions. It is important to treat the cause, not just the symptoms.”
Maria consults on dozens of cases every week. She has built a system that helps her monitor all these cases across multiple units. In addition to her clinical care responsibilities, Maria provides education for nursing students and health care professionals. She leads quality improvement projects on prevention of pressure injuries and participates in research projects.
Although managing these competing demands can be challenging, Maria is motivated knowing the impact her work has on the well-being of her patients. “Seeing the impact a successful treatment has on a patient, is incredibly rewarding,” she says.
Another motivator in Maria’s life has been the positive example set by her mother. “My mom has always been an inspiration. She was a single mom but nothing ever stopped her. She was always so determined and strong and taught me to fight for the things that matter to me.” This attitude helped Maria adapt to life in Canada. Her family moved from Mexico City to Montreal when she was 15. With the support of her family and her ambition to find her health care career calling, Maria learned French and English and completed three years of high school in just two years. She then started her undergraduate studies at York University.
Maria worked as an RN for a few years before deciding to pursue graduate studies and specialize in wound care. She joined the Bridgepoint team in September and is looking forward to developing her career and growing in her profession here. “In this role I feel fortunate that I’ve found an amazing mentor in Kathleen Reid. She is someone who I look up to because she has an incredible work ethic, strong clinical acumen and is always kind. She provides great support and guidance whenever I need it.”
As Maria has settled in at Bridgepoint over the past several months she’s finding ways to balance her busy work life with time to relax. She recently took a trip to Belize. “I am a big fan of travelling and learning from other people and different cultures,” she says.
Maria also enjoys time outdoors and with her family, including her seven-year-old chocolate lab. She says spending quality time with family has become even more significant recently as she became an auntie for the first time. “Family has always been at the centre of everything, for me,” she adds.