The best guardian angels: a mother for her CHSLD employees

The best guardian angels: a mother for her CHSLD employees


Chantal Brissette

  • Training nurse
  • Activities manager at CHSLD Sainte- Dorothée, in Laval 
  • Retired since January 2022, after 30 years of career 

Several months after retiring, a manager of a CHSLD hard hit by the pandemic continues to inspire her colleagues, who nickname her the “octopus” because of her ability to manage a thousand files at the same time.

“She's still in the walls!” There is an after-Chantal, ”says Isabelle Lepage, a nurse at the Sainte-Dorothée long-term care center (CHSLD), in Laval. 

“It's a heart on two legs, adds his colleague Nathalie Alix. She gave herself to make everyone happy. » 

Marked by the pandemic

After a 40-year career in the health network, Chantal Brissette retired last January .

“I miss coming home to work! she says when she arrives at the CHSLD, where she recently returned to meet Le Journal

A nurse by profession, the 58-year-old woman who worked for 30 years in this CHSLD admits that the COVID-19 pandemic marked her career. 

In the spring of 2020, Sainte-Dorothée was one of the first CHSLDs to be hit hard by COVID-19, and several reports have highlighted serious shortcomings.

A total of one hundred residents lost their lives. 

“It was as if we weren't giving good care, and that's not true! swears Ms. Brissette, who worked up to 12 hours a day. COVID-19 was war. As soon as the cases entered the building, it plummeted. »

“It's as if we had denigrated my family, and we didn't deserve that,” she says, moved. It still touches me.

Coordinator for 10 years, the woman had to show leadership to motivate her employees during the pandemic.

Nursing care, coaching, telephone management, laundry: Ms. Brissette performed all kinds of tasks at the same time.

Affectionately, her colleagues call her the octopus. 

Like a mom 

“You know, the good moms who do a thousand things at the same time? You soup on a butt because the phone rings, I was that. I was a mom! summarizes Ms. Brissette, who was also nicknamed lady in red, because of her red uniform.

For her, her role as a manager consisted of being as listening to employees.

Even if she misses her job, the retiree wouldn't go back. She admits to having experienced post-traumatic stress after the pandemic. 

“COVID-19 got into me a lot, says the one who plans an Alaska cruise. But, I found it very gratifying to work with the elderly, to accompany people at the end of life. » 

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