Undergraduate student receives Sopman Humanitarian Award

29 May 2014

Bloomberg Nursing BScN student Michelle Fernandes has been selected to receive a Sopman Humanitarian Award from the University Health Network. The Sopman Humanitarian Fund seeks to encourage humanity, compassion, understanding, and the ability to communicate amongst nurses and doctors in training at the University Health Network. Named after the late Belle Sopman, the award was established by her husband Archie Sopman in recognition of the humanitarian care given to his wife by a student nurse.

Fernandes came to Bloomberg Nursing after completing her Bachelor of Health Sciences in Biology from the University of Western Ontario. “I chose nursing so that I could make an appreciable difference in the lives of others,” says Fernandes. “I enjoy talking with patients and supporting them through challenging health and life situations; the most enjoyable parts of my day come from patient interactions, whether listening, teaching giving advice, providing company or just being present for support.”

Fernandes was one of ten students nominated from UHN to receive the award for the 2013/14 academic year, and she is humbled at having been selected. “I endeavour to create moments of humanity and meaningful connection with every patient and family member I encounter in my nursing practice,” she states. The key criteria for nomination are a demonstration of excellence in the art and science of humanistic cars; above-average interpersonal skills shown through interaction with patients and families; evidence of the characteristics of compassion and support while providing care; and clinical and academic excellence.

Currently completing her final placement at St. Michael’s Hospital on the cardiovascular surgery unit, Fernandes will receive her award at a reception on June 25th, along with a small honorarium. “I chose U of T for my nursing education due to the calibre of hospitals associated with the program and the vast opportunities for diverse learning experiences available through its placements,” says Fernandes. “I received incredible support from both faculty and staff – the reputation of U of T precedes it, and I am so happy to have completed my education here.”