When reality exceeds your wildest dreams

Foundation, in collaboration with Caroline Dupré, a nurse at the Institute’s transplant clinic

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This article is adapted from the Foundation’s magazine

Even as a child, Caroline Dupré knew she wanted to be a nurse. “Taking care of people is what’s most important to me. When I was small, I carried around a little doctor’s bag and put bandages on my dolls. You could say I figured out pretty early on that I wanted to work in a hospital.” Growing up, she set her sights on working at the Montreal Heart Institute, a dream that quickly came true.

Passion and support that get stronger every day

Ms. Dupré describes her 33 years at the Montreal Heart Institute as a story of dedication that grows stronger every day. Slowly but surely, she built her career: the orderly became a nurse, first in the emergency room, then in surgical intensive care. She’s now in her 21st year as a nurse at the Institute’s transplant clinic.

“The Institute supports and fully recognizes the professional development of its employees,” Ms. Dupré said. She gives the example of when she had, on her own initiative, trained in ventricular assistance at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic in the U.S. Her employers immediately seized the opportunity to further her interest and invited her to help establish a new specialized clinical program at the Institute.

She then trained several intensive care nurses and gave presentations on the subject at provincial and international conferences, with the Institute’s support. “We feel a sense of duty and pride in raising the Institute’s profile and highlighting its important work.”

In her opinion, one of the Institute’s strengths is that it listens to its staff’s aspirations and encourages them to pursue their ambitions. “In my 33-year career, I’ve never once been refused. It’s incredible to receive that kind of support,” noted Ms. Dupré.

The Foundation’s role

A highly qualified team requires resources and equipment at the forefront of innovation.

Ms. Dupré’s profession is constantly changing —there are always new medications, technology, scientific discoveries and research projects, and it’s essential for the Institute to keep up.

None of this would be possible without the Foundation. “Whether we’re talking about new technology or facilities, the Foundation and its donors invest significant amounts of money so we can benefit from the best context for our skill set,” she added. “I speak for all my colleagues when I say this: We’re immensely grateful for these people who not only allow us to better pursue our profession, but also—let’s be frank—help us save lives.”

Ms. Dupré believes the Institute fosters collaboration and brings together professionals whose mission revolves around the patient’s well-being. This mission has been close to her heart since childhood. The dolls from her childhood have given way to real patients.

And her medical kit has become more complex than she could ever have imagined.

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