Regional Bariatric Care Profile: Meet Tanya Burgess
by Caitlund Davidson
Throughout the month of November we are highlighting staff at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre who play a key role in bariatric care. Today, we’re sharing a Q & A from Tanya Burgess, a Registered Nurse at the Regional Bariatric Care Centre (RBCC).
What does it take to be a Registered Nurse?
To be a Registered Nurse (RN) at the RBCC it takes dedication to our patients and enhanced knowledge of our patient population. We see patients who suffer from numerous health conditions and our job is to support and educate them in their journey to attain a healthier lifestyle.
What inspired you to work in bariatrics?
I was inspired to work in bariatric care to continue my personal goal of helping others. Having been a RN for over 21 years, I have worked in many areas of the organization. About 10 years ago, I was presented with an opportunity to work at the RBCC. I work as part of an interdisciplinary team and together, we assist our patients on their journey to pursue a healthier lifestyle. We see dramatic positive health outcomes from our patients. It is truly inspiring.
What is unique about your role?
As a RN at the RBCC, I help support patients pursuing bariatric surgery. I help our patients navigate the surgery process ensuring they are well educated and feel comfortable and safe during their assessment process for surgery.
How does your role impact patient care?
In my role, I assist in the surgery planning. I book all of our surgeries and perform all of our patients’ pre-admission appointments. In my opinion, this allows our patients to continue feeling safe and comfortable in our clinic and allows for ample time to provide health teaching specific to our surgery for patients and their family members.
Promoting a healthy lifestyle is part of your daily messaging to patients. Do you have any personal tips on how to stay healthy?
Taking care of our personal health both physically and mentally is very important. My suggestions include getting enough rest, staying well hydrated and incorporating daily activity. Our body and mind requires down time to increase our concentration and memory. Hydration is crucial to our whole health. Allowing time for an activity you enjoy on a daily basis is important. Finding an enjoyable activity ensures sustainability.