Throughout her career, Galina Todorova has never stopped learning. Galina has been a Registered Nurse (RN) for 15 years and started working at Bridgepoint in 2006. Although her work schedule and her family have kept her busy, she went back to school and completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2011. “I wanted to expand my knowledge to continue challenging myself. And I love studying,” she says.

Growing up in Bulgaria, Galina was drawn to a career in nursing from a young age. “When deciding on a profession I realized that helping people would give me the most satisfaction. In the nursing profession, the scope of practice was expanding and I would be able to specialize and continue learning.”

In addition to completing her degree, Galina has obtained certification in Gerontological Nursing from the Canadian Nurses’ Association. Most recently, she has studied to become a Diabetes Educator, taking courses and completing exams to earn certification from the Canadian Diabetes Educator Certification Board. She says encouragement from Kate Pettapiece, Advanced Practice Nurse and Diabetes Educator has helped her succeed in her educational pursuits. With Kate’s support Galina has also put her new knowledge into practice, and filled in for Kate as Diabetes Nurse Educator, counselling patients and families.

“I was caring for many of the same patients but with a different focus. I taught patients about measuring blood sugar with a glucometer, how to interpret the numbers and what to do if blood sugar is too high or too low,” says Galina.  “I read the literature and found articles to help answer patients’ questions about their specific conditions. By teaching patients and families about managing diabetes, I can help them improve and become more confident, impacting their overall quality of life.”

Although the role took her outside her comfort zone, Galina brought the same compassionate approach she always brings to her work. “I like to connect with patients because I know that you meet them at one point in time and they’ve had a whole lifetime of experience behind them. They often tell me stories about their lives. While I was teaching my patients, they were also teaching me,” she says.

This year during Nursing Week Galina was recognized for her pursuit of learning with an award for Clinical Education and Professional Development. And Kate awarded Galina a Service with HEART pin for the work she did as a Diabetes Educator. “If you need to be in the hospital, Galina is a nurse you’d want taking care of you,” says Kate. “I thought she deserved recognition. She provides excellent and compassionate care and she’s also very humble about her achievements.”

Galina hopes to pursue more formal education in the future. In the meantime she says she’s always finding opportunities to learn new things. “I’ll never stop learning because life is about learning every day.”

What is Service with HEART?

One of the aims of our People Plan is to inspire everyone at Sinai Health with a sense of purpose to feel emotionally connected to what we do. The Service with HEART model empowers everyone to provide an exceptional service experience at every point of interaction by understanding that the role in creating positive patient, family caregiver or colleague experiences is greater than the tasks associated with the job. Service with HEART training provides practical tools needed to build rapport in relationships and proactively respond and resolve service concerns received from patients, family caregivers and each other. Anyone caught demonstrating these principles and tools is awarded a Service with HEART pin in recognition of their commitment to providing service excellence to patients, families and each other.

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