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Cynthia Yam, recipient of the CANNT 2008 Award of Excellence in Mentorship.

My journey in nephrology nursing began in 1972 at the Royal Free Hospital in London, England. After I graduated from nursing in Hong Kong, without knowing what I was getting myself into, I enrolled in the six-month course in "Renal Transplantation and Hemodialysis". Yes, I have to admit that I worked with the Kiil dialyzers and learned to rebuild them when the patients came off dialysis. As a young nurse, exposure to formalin fumes was not a concern of mine at the time. I gladly learned new skills and seemed to have no fear.


In January 1975, I began my career at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. As soon as I entered the hemodialysis unit, I immediately felt the camaraderie and this drew me to stay on for the next 33 years, going on to 34. During this time, I have had the opportunities to work as a dialysis nurse, a unit manager and, at present, as a clinical nurse educator. Each role has presented me with challenges and rewards. I would, however, not trade my career as a nephrology nurse for any other profession. Over the years, management has changed many times, personnel has come and gone, and technology and treatment have advanced. I feel that my connection with the patients though has remained unchanged. It is through them I have learned to be a better nurse.

I am honoured to be acknowledged by CANNT. This award of Excellence in Mentorship is not only for me to receive, it is also for those many mentors I have had in the past who have helped shape my career. Without their guidance, support and encouragement, I would not have come this far. I am also one of those lucky people who have found my niches in life--one is finding fulfillment in nursing and the other in teaching. I am extremely thankful for the recognition CANNT has offered me. In this age of nursing, I hope I can continue to be a role model for other nurses and assist them with finding satisfaction in nephrology nursing, as I have.

By Cynthia Yam, RN, BScN, CNeph(C), Clinical Nurse Educator of the Northern Alberta Renal Program, Edmonton, Alberta
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Title Annotation:Meet the 2008 CANNT bursary, award and research grant winners; Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists
Author:Yam, Cynthia
Publication:CANNT Journal
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Previous Article:Jill Campbell, recipient of the CANNT 2008 Award of Excellence in Administration/Leadership.
Next Article:Katie Nikl, recipient of the CANNT 2008 Award of Excellence in education.

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