Kim McLennan-Robbins at work. Submitted photo

Honoured for her work in the O.R.

Fernie native wins national operating room nurse award

Fernie native Kim McLennan-Robbins has won a Lorne Flower Memorial Award in recognition of her 33 years as an operating room nurse.

“I love what I do,” she said. “I love going to work every day.”

She was presented with the award at the 25th Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada (ORNAC) National Conference, which took place April 30 to May 4 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The Lorne Flower Memorial Award is given out bi-annually in recognition of the recipients’ talents, knowledge and outstanding contributions to ORNAC.

McLennan-Robbins was born and raised in Fernie. She got first experience in healthcare at the community’s old hospital at the tender age of 15.

She and other volunteers – known as candy stripers – would go to the hospital after school where they would speak to the patients, bring them food and water and do other small but important tasks.

She graduated from Fernie Secondary School in 1980 but moved to Edmonton, Alberta, shortly after where she received a diploma in nursing from the University of Alberta, followed by a certificate in operating room nursing.

She began working at the University of Alberta Hospital and has remained there ever since.

“My very first day in the operating room I knew that I would spend my career there,” she said. “I just love the teamwork and I’m fascinated by the human body, anatomy and physiology.”

She was also awarded the Lorne Flower prize for her work as an instructor at MacEwan University where she teaches and mentors future operating room nurses. She called her work as an instructor, “her passion.”

McLennan-Robbins said there are about 8000 operating room nurses in the country. To have been chosen from among them to receive the Lorne Flower award has been a gratifying experience.