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St. Joseph's Health Centre Toronto

The person you want to see before surgery

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Nina Geraci was nervous as she walked into our Pre-Admission Clinic at St. Joe’s; she was preparing to have surgery and was anxious about the thought of having an anesthetic. Her fears quickly disappeared as soon as Irina Vinogradova, a Registered Nurse on the unit, stepped into the room.

“She said her name with this humongous smile,” Nina said. “I’ve never had such a positive, cheerful experience.”

The two bonded almost instantly as they began chatting about their children. While sharing stories, Irina assured Nina that the surgery was common and nothing to worry about.

“She made me feel at ease,” Nina said. “She made me feel comfortable as a patient and I just got this kindness from her.”

Irina has been a nurse at St. Joe’s for over eight years, seeing patients before their scheduled surgeries. She said she considers it her responsibility to help comfort people in what can be a difficult time.

“Some people who come here have just learned [that they need surgery], some have had time to sleep on it, sometimes all they know is what they’ve found on the internet,” she said. “I am here to help them understand what is going on.”

Nina has made a full recovery and said she is still grateful for the care she received.

“It was more like [Irina and I] were talking on a friendship level,” she said. “So when everything was said and done I had to give her a big hug.”

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