Justin Steiginga began attending OCS in his Senior Kindergarten year (2001) and graduated from Grade 8 in 2010. Some of his fond memories include going to track and field days and playing basketball and soccer. He still has good friends from his OCS years; in fact, he is currently sharing a house with one of them.
After OCS, Justin went to Redeemer high school and then to the University of Ottawa where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. He graduated in 2018 and began a career as a registered nurse at the Queensway Carleton hospital in Ottawa. For the first few years of his career, he felt like things were going smoothly. He enjoyed his job, was getting used to the routines, and felt like he was becoming more experienced and more effective at his job. His speciality was caring for older adults with acute medical issues.
Two years later, in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and everything turned upside down. His floor was designated the Covid floor as it had many rooms that were suitable as isolation rooms. On the Covid floor, he began to care for patients of all ages, many who were very sick. While some of his patients need only a bit of supportive care, many others become quickly and progressively worse and end up in the ICU.
In spite of the pandemic stress, Justin still enjoys his work. Seeing people recover is extremely rewarding, especially in Covid-19 cases. He also enjoys being able to develop relationships with many different people with diverse personalities and histories.
Looking back on his time at OCS, Justin feels that the school laid a good foundation for encouraging his interest in the sciences, and put him on the path towards academic success that allowed him to pursue university. It also nurtured his faith, which impacts his work today. Working with the elderly and with Covid-19 patients, he sees death regularly. While some people find death difficult to deal with, his faith helps him remember that it is not necessarily the end, and that there’s hope for something better beyond the grave.
Article written by Annemarie VanderVeen