Edmonton nurse retires after finishing 50 years on the job

EDMONTON — A local nurse is retiring after 50 years on the job.

Liz Baril, a mother of three and grandmother of seven leaves a difficult profession and looks forward to starting the next chapter of her life: retirement.

Her nursing career began back in 1970.

“For 80 hours I got $152.97,” she recalled. “I never thought it was gonna be easy. But if I didn’t have that career, where would I be now?

Baril helped look after thousands of patients throughout her career at the cardiology ward at the University of Alberta Hospital.

“I’ve basically loved every minute of it,” she proudly said. “Of course there’s some days and some patients that you don’t.”

“I’m sure there’s lots of them that remember me cause I do go the extra mile,” Baril said. “I will bring in my baking or at Easter I make them all Easter baskets, every patient.”

The long-time nurse said she would do anything to make sure her patients were comfortable, like buying them ear buds for the television.

But mostly she just listened.

 “I go in and talk to them,” she added. “Find out where they live, where they’re from… and the whole time I am doing their assessment.”

“I find out about them because I care,” she laughed. “And then I might take them for a walk if I have time in the evening… I just sped time with them because some of them are lonely, and some of them are lovely, lovely people.”

She is proud of her contribution and hopes her level of caring was an example for others.

“These new nurses that are coming, they have a lot of ego and they have a lot of info but they don’t spend any time with the patients.”

Baril said the decision to retire was the hardest one she has ever made.

“I felt like I was letting someone down,” she said. “I was really quite depressed.

“Coworkers told me don’t be sad, you’ve done your time.”

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baril never received a fitting send off for her 50 years of service. She says she is okay with that as she is used to working in one of the most thankless and overlooked jobs.

“I gave a lot,” she said. “It’s taken a while for it to sink in.

“I’m just thankful for the time I had.”

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Dave Mitchell

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