Q&A with Volunteer Byanca Jeune
Byanca Jeune is a nurse from Montreal. She was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and spent her early years there before relocating to Canada with her family. In 2017, she participated in two medical mission trips with Team Broken Earth. Read our Q&A with Byanca to learn more about her volunteer experience with Project Medishare at Hospital Bernard Mevs.
When did you immigrate to Canada? What do you remember about growing up in Haiti?
I was born in Haiti but left at 10 years old with my family to go live in Montreal. I went to school here in Port-au-Prince and I have very fond memories of my childhood here — especially my grandparents and going to the beach. I still have some uncles and family here.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
I always knew that i wanted to work in the medical field, but not necessarily as a doctor. I really wanted that close relationship to patients. As early as high school I knew I wanted to be a nurse. Back then, I wanted to be a peds nurse, but it didn’t work out that way. I figured out early in my studies that peds just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t bear to see children like that.
I’m a post-op recovery room nurse and I’ve been a nurse for 11 years now.
What made you want to return to Haiti on a medical mission?
As soon as I knew I wanted to become a nurse — very soon afterwards — I had the idea of coming back. I don’t know if it’s because my parents always instilled in me the desire to come back to Haiti, but I had always viewed my skills as a nurse as my contribution — as a way that I can help and give back to Haiti. So, it’s been an idea and a goal of mine for a very long time but I didn’t have the means or an avenue to really make the plan a reality until now.
How did you learn about Team Broken Earth and Project Medishare?
The trip team leader, Dr. Lenczner, was looking for a post-op recovery nurse, and he thought of me. So in the end it just came to me. I had always wanted to do it, butI hadn’t really found the right way to do it and this opportunity just landed in my lap.
How has your experience at HBM compared to your experience working in Montreal?
When I compare it to how it is back home prepping patients for surgery…I mean it’s a big hospital back home so we can see something like 20 patients a day, up to 7 at once. And here it’s probably closer to 6-7 a day if that. Also back home, when you tell a patient to be at the hospital at 7:30am they will be there. Here, I say 7:30am and we’ll see them come in at 9:30-10:00am, and somehow it’s always due to traffic. Little things like that are different. But I’ve had a great time here and the work we’re doing is needed.