Nursing best practices, current knowledge and compassion are the filters through which hospitals provide quality care to patients circulating within their wards. As a Vancouver-based Registered Nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital’s hemodialysis unit for more than 10 years, Steve Silva has helped to ensure a healthy flow of knowledge and proper practice to health professionals around him.
Steve is a Charge Nurse Replacement organizing and managing the day-to-day operations of the hemodialysis unit. He assesses patients for fluid balance, administers medications and assists in creating a plan of care to help tailor each patient’s hemodialysis treatments. As part of treatment, he teaches patients the process of dialysis and brings in interdisciplinary teams to foster lifestyle changes. His mastery of needling skills has certainly helped him earn the trust of his patients so that he can reduce their anxiety, enhance comfort and deliver the best care possible.
“I have seen firsthand Steve’s dedication to the nursing profession,” says colleague Sera Josep. “Steve’s broad nursing experience and extensive background in nephrology have prepared him to work in a busy in-centre hemodialysis unit. His comprehensive assessments and caring attitude have made him an exemplary renal nurse.” He has worked in many areas of nephrology, including transplant and peritoneal dialysis. Steve’s knowledge also comes from current findings; he worked as a research coordinator for the British Columbia Transplant Society, looking into the effects of immunosuppressant medication on transplanted kidneys. This combination of clinical experience and research background have made him an excellent resource for the RNs in his unit.
Frequently called on to be Acting Clinical Nurse Leader in the nephrology unit for extended periods, Steve leads with confidence and style. For instance, when St. Paul’s renal unit began using new hemodialysis machines, he quickly recognized their benefits, became an expert in their use and helped his colleagues to master these new tools for improving patient care.
Recently, Steve accepted an important role as a Vascular Access Nurse. “Steve was chosen to be trained for this position because of his excellent assessment and needling skills,” Josep says. “He worked closely with vascular surgeons to coordinate fistulograms an fistuloplasties, attending weekly clinics with the nephrologists and vascular surgeons to see patients requiring new AVFs or patients with problematic AVFS… This opportunity allowed Steve to get even more knowledge and experience.”
Steve’s specialized training includes certification in nephrology, training in delivering Therapeutic Plasma Exchange, Advance Care planning and more. “His continual pursuit of current practice trends lets him provide education to patients and families and also mentor nursing staff within the unit,” says RN Rick Luscombe. Additionally, his exceptional language skills in Cantonese, Tagalog, Punjabi enable him to pass on that knowledge and reassurance to patients that formerly faced language barriers to optimal care. “His ability to put a patient and family at ease is apparent by the surprise and relief on their faces when Steve starts to communicate with them in their own language.”
Providence Health Care’s mandate is “how you want to be treated.” Steve treats patients and families with respect, professionalism and exemplary care, fulfilling that mandate with pure dedication.