Darlene DiTommaso

Carecor Critical Care RN and environmental advocate

Darlene has been a nurse for about 10 years but this is actually her second career. For 10 years previously, she worked for the Ministry of the Environment as a policy analyst and environmental planner. Circumstances allowed her to leave of her own accord and she went back to school (Mohawk College in Hamilton) for nursing. She has never looked back.

She found it quite a change going from a male dominated job in the government to a practically all female profession. “I think nursing is a profession historically that didn’t get as much respect as it should have. Since I’ve been a nurse, I’m as professional as I can be and I advocate for my patients”, says Darlene.

Darlene works casually at both Halton Healthcare Oakville Trafalgar site and Carecor and finds that she is able to get enough hours that way. She specializes in Emergency nursing.

She feels her strength is in her people skills and how she deals with patients and their families. “I am not a confrontational type of person and, especially in the Emergency Department, there are some fairly strong personalities, whether it be my colleagues or patients and families. Some have very high expectations when they come into the ER. Sometimes they are quite valid and sometimes they may be a little bit more than what we’re able to provide them.” Darlene has a wry sense of humour which has served her well on the job. She enjoys making her patients feel a little bit happier and more comfortable during a serious time in the hospital by encouraging a laugh. “Because, you know, laughter is the best medicine! But it’s important to know when the appropriate moment is to lighten the mood.”

Darlene initially came to Carecor for the flexibility it offered because her husband worked out of town. But she has stayed because of the supportive people in the staffing office. She knows that they would be there to help her if she ever needed it. She says ”I’ve gone through a lot of things with my family in the past few years. There were times when I couldn’t work and Carecor was there for me. They would call just to see how I was doing and how my family was.”

She enjoys having been able to work with Carecor in multiple hospitals. “I have made some really great connections with some of the nurses and their management along the way, so I’m really happy that I’ve had that opportunity.”

Darlene has two teenage boys so her family life is busy. In her off work hours, she enjoys socializing and going for walks to explore Toronto.