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A nurse at Mount Sinai since 1969 and counting

Florabelle Agellon

Florabelle Agellon, a Mount Sinai Labour and Delivery nurse for 39 years, recently sat down for a quick Question and Answer session.

How would you describe your career at Mount Sinai?
I continue to work with high-risk mothers, and monitor and resuscitate babies. In a volunteer role, I’m a bereavement counselor.

What attracted you to nursing?
My passion is helping and caring for people, and through nursing I’m completing my mission. 

How do you keep calm and balanced in a busy and demanding environment?
I constantly smile and use the therapeutic touch. Holding patients’ hands and providing reassurance is important to help people feel comfortable and optimistic.

What’s changed in the Labour and Delivery room since 1969?

  • At the old Hospital, there were three labour rooms separate from three delivery rooms with four nurses per team. Today we have 17 rooms for the entire procedure and 20 nurses per team.
  • During birth, patients’ spouses weren’t allowed in the delivery room, and women couldn’t touch their babies. Procedures were not covered by OHIP, so patients had to pay for births and were later reimbursed.
  • Babies were delivered by instruments, which nurses would wash. Now births are natural, and the Hospital has a dedicated sterile department.
  • Nurses wore long dresses to their ankles and covered their heads with scarves.