Grace Groetzsch became Canada’s first employed registered nurse first assistant (RNFA) in 1997. She’s been working to educate the public about her role ever since. She recently had a unique opportunity to raise awareness when Ontario’s Health Minister Deb Matthews came to her workplace – Sunnybrook’s Holland Orthopaedic and Arthritic Centre in Toronto – to announce the government’s permanent, full funding for the role.
Despite having ten years of experience dealing with the media, Groetzsch was nervous about speaking in front of the Minister and in front of the hospital’s CEO and board chair at the press conference. To calm her nerves, she kept the wise advice of her 11-year-old grandson top of mind: “just take a big breath, relax and start.