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Super-Dads at Burnaby Hospital

Super-Dads at Burnaby Hospital

June 06, 2012

Burnaby Hospital is proud to have many amazing dads, from our friendly volunteers to our hard-working ER staff. Leading up to Father’s day this week, we want to feature a few of our all-star dads.

Every day is a different day for him in Burnaby Hospital’s busy Emergency Department. A Registered Nurse, Tristan Newby relishes in the fact that his days are never typical; in fact, far from it. In any given day, he might provide care to a patient with a GI bleed, a psychiatry patient who needs support, or even a crying infant with a fever. Each visit by these patients marks a significant moment. And as a new father, Tristan knows a thing or two about significant moments. There was no greater significant moment for Tristan than when his son, Logan, was born. And while his training has prepared him for his daily life in the ER, he muses that “becoming a parent is a life transition that someone can never be prepared for.”

While holding Logan on his first night Tristan remembers feeling overwhelmed by the knowledge that his life now has a greater purpose. Since then, Tristan finds his life taking a new trajectory where “every decision, from the grand to the benign, is influenced by Logan.” A big surprise, he says, is how quickly Logan learns and picks up on certain behaviours. Tristan now has to be careful what he does in front of his son, in case Logan gets any ideas to copy his dad!

Tristan has found that some of his work at Burnaby Hospital, like rapid assessments and infant child care, helps him be more prepared to care for Logan. He knows when he can treat Logan at home, or when he needs to go see their doctor, or even come to Emergency. Being a dad has also improved his skills at the hospital. “Prior to having a child paediatric assessments and working with parents was intimidating. I now feel that I have a greater understanding of the parents experience, developmental norms and assessment skills.”

While he’s relatively new at being a dad, he already has some advice to share. “A dad needs humour, patience, a desire to learn and share. Most importantly, he needs the support and partnership with his wife. When you have a great Mom, it is easy to be a good Dad.”

As for Father’s Day? He’ll be hard at work in the ER, but is hoping to enjoy a Father’s Day brunch. And when he comes home, he’ll get to enjoy one of his favourite things of being a dad – returning home, and seeing Logan do his happy dance!

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Dad: The Smartest Person on Earth

After 12 years of being a dad, Medical Imaging Site Coordinator Laurier Nobert holds nothing back when he confesses his favourite memories are created everyday when he spends time with his two daughters.

From softball games to training practices to helping them their studies, fatherhood is a role Laurier manages full-time on top of his work at Burnaby Hospital. But he says that working in Burnaby Hospital’s central diagnostics hubs is not so different. In fact, it requires many of the same characteristics of being a good father, Laurier points out.

“Patience and understanding your audience are key when you work with patients,” he shares. “And a good father exercises patience, love and understanding. We invest so much time in our kids – and enjoy doing it.”

Laurier admits that being a dad does not come without challenges; but he knows first-hand how great the reward is. “If there’s one piece of wisdom I can impart on new fathers, it’s that the more it gets easier, it also gets harder. But nothing compares to those moments when I can help the girls learn something, and they think I am the smartest person on Earth.”

This Father’s Day, Laurier looks forward to enjoying family time, “puttering” around the backyard and perhaps fixing or building something.

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Volunteering and fatherhood: “It’s a good thing”

Whether you are looking for the surgery wing, or the cafeteria at Burnaby Hospital, chances are you’ll be helped by one of hospital’s all-star wayfinder volunteers like Kehar Singh Aujla. Kehar takes him job very seriously. But his open smile is anything but, and you will be quickly reassured that you are in good hands. During a typical shift, he directs and guides patients, family, and staff within the hospital. Everytime he helps someone, he knows he’s found his calling: “In my heart, I get a big reward…When they get to where they need to be, there is a lot of satisfaction in that.”

As Burnaby’s Citizen of the Year in 2011, and one of Canada’s Top 25 immigrants this year, he volunteers his time between nine organizations, including Burnaby Hospital, Volunteer Grandparents and Burnaby Village Museum. But for the past 49 years, Kehar has undertaken an even more committed role – that of being a father.

Before coming to Canada, Kehar lived in India and worked as a superintendent of Coal Mine Rescue. He was fortunate to have an office close to home, so he has always been able to remain close with his family.

One of the values he continues to instil in his children is discipline. Love your children, he says, but at the same time be a little strict with them. A good father teaches their children good manners, and how to be helpful to everyone. He gives a friendly smile as he says, “Volunteering is a good thing.”

A father of 4, and now a proud grandfather of 12, he thinks that grandparents have a different role to play. “We control our children but not the grandchildren – that is their parents’ duty. To love the grandchildren, that is our job. To only love them.” It’s one of the keys to having a happy extended family, he says, and having no tension at home.

True to his values, Kehar adds his advice to other fathers: “Teach [your child] to be a good citizen. Greet the seniors. Always smile. Give service to the community. Be humble and never be proud”

This Father’s Day, he is happy to have his very large family come and spend time with him, while his children bring him flowers and a hand-written card.

Photo credit: Canadian Immigrant, Toronto Star Newspapers Limited.