New Operating Room Assistants join surgical team

Tara Soares and Norm Gibbons are MHC’s new Operating Room Assistants (ORA’s), which are new positions designed to help reduce surgical waitlists.

MHC is thrilled to welcome two new Operating Room Assistants (ORA’s) who will soon be assisting our surgical care team.

Tara Soares and Norm Gibbons are no strangers to the Misericordia family. Both are long-time employees who started working on site as health-care aides.

“I actually started at Misericordia as a housekeeper and then transitioned into a health-care aide,” said Gibbons.

He said after 15 years working as a health-care aide he was moved into a new role as an OR Supply Assistant where he was able to learn a new set of skills.

“As a health-care aide you’re pretty much maxed out what you can do and learn, so when another new opportunity came up, I applied and just went for it.

“So far it’s been very interesting,” he said.

To qualify, Soares and Gibbons had to have at least five years of experience working as health-care aides in the OR. They also had to complete a 12-week online course through Mohawk College in Ontario which included stringent onsite testing in Manitoba.

“Some of the classes were challenging,” said Soares. “We learned everything from human anatomy to surgical anatomy to microbiology.”

The two new positions are part of a larger provincial plan to add 70 new operating room assistants across Manitoba. The aim is to reduce waitlists for diagnostic and surgical procedures as mandated by the province’s Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force.

Responsibilities will range from decontaminating rooms and disinfecting surgery equipment, to transferring and preparing patients safely for surgery.

Soares said she has learned so much working closely with patients over the years and is very excited to take on this new role.

“I’m really happy to be starting this next adventure,” Soares said.

“I like that I will be able to assist more, be with patients inside the surgery room and be involved in the surgeries.

“I’m feeling great, and I’m ready.”

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