In the heart of Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital’s 9th floor, a dedicated team of specialized health-care professionals tirelessly tends to the needs of patients requiring complex continuing care (CCC).

Complex continuing care is a specialized service that provides ongoing, comprehensive in-hospital care to patients with chronic, complex medical and nursing needs.

This unit serves as a beacon of hope for those facing immense challenges: tubes for feeding and breathing, severe wounds with lengthy healing times, and patients immobilized or unable to communicate verbally.
Patients are often dealing with chronic medical issues – requiring specialized nursing and holistic care by the Neurological and Medical Complex Care team.

“What’s truly unique is the complexity of the patients on the unit combined with the dedication and compassion of the staff, physicians and leaders. It is a privilege to witness,” said Rebecca Ramsden, Senior Clinical Program Director, Specialized Medicine and Complex Care.

“For many patients, the length of stay on the unit is longer than the typical patient in hospital. This allows patients and their families to foster unique relationships with the care team. Likewise, the team gets to know the patients as people and individuals – their preferences and passions, and how to care for them best.”

What makes this unit so special is the sheer amount of collaboration that is happening by a large group of passionate and skilled professionals, Rebecca added. A patient could be assigned up to 13 health-care practitioners working in tandem to improve their quality of life, and optimize their health and care needs.

“Some of our patients are unable to move or speak,” said Erica Daquioag, who is a Registered Practical Nurse for complex care patients. “It is important that we address their care with humanity.”

Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital Male nurse caring for patientWith unwavering commitment, Erica and her colleagues enter each day ready to be the ‘light in their patients’ lives’, treating them with the respect and compassion they deserve.
“That’s what makes it very rewarding to be that person’s nurse,” she added.

But providing such complex care around the clock is emotionally and physically difficult. The team says the support they provide each other is what motivates them to keep going.

“Teamwork makes the dream work on our unit,” said Liberty Moghrabi, who is a Registered Practical Nurse for both palliative and complex care patients. “It’s not a one person team. It never has been a one per team. And that’s what makes a difference in the quality of care for our patients,” Liberty added.

Often times, patients on this floor require total assistance for all their daily activities; some require assistive communication devices to be able to communicate; feeding and airway tubes to help with nutrition and proper breathing.

“Providing high-quality care requires constant communication between us, working together to make sure the patient is comfortable,” Liberty added.

This collaborative spirit extends beyond nursing, encompassing a real multi-disciplinary approach to patient care. Nicole Allard, Patient Care Manager on the Neurological and Medical Complex Care team, emphasizes the importance of setting individualized goals in partnership with patients and their families.

On top of their medical needs, how can each patient incorporate activities in their day? How can they feel supported emotionally? These questions on how to best support the patient can evolve over time and the team must adapt.

“It takes a village,” Nicole said, highlighting the weekly huddles and daily handovers that facilitate communication and coordination among the care team.

patient with exercise ballAccess to recreational therapy, physiotherapy or speech therapy, can maximize a patient’s independence.

“It’s all about collaborating and strategizing with the nurses and other professionals to make sure the patient has what they need to improve their quality of life,” said Mayleen Torres, who is an occupational therapist and has worked on the Neurological and Medical Complex Care team for years.

“And behind all of this, is a team of truly empathetic individuals, who go above and beyond for their patients. In all my years in health care, I have never seen such passion from a care team.”

Who is on the care team?

  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Social workers
  • Physiotherapists 
  • Occupational therapists
  • Recreational therapists
  • Speech language pathologists
  • Therapy assistants
  • Pharmacists
  • Registered dietitians
  • Spiritual care specialists
  • Unit clerks
  • Unit support technicians
  • Environmental Support staff