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Emily Lovrics

emily lovrics

Role at the Centre

Clinic Nurse Specialist, In-Hospital Care Team

Year started at the Centre


If I were facing a critical or terminal illness, I would want a nurse like Emily Lovrics at my bedside. She’s calm, careful and composed. As we chat, she’s thoughtful, taking time to think through her answers; making sure she’s given them due weight.

Emily is the Clinical Nurse Specialist of the In-Hospital Care Team. She joined the team in 2016, but her path to palliative care was far from direct. 

She finished her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Queen’s University in 2011.  

“I started to work in critical care and surgical oncology right out of school,” she says. 

That experience opened her eyes. She saw a lot of patients whose suffering “wasn’t being addressed in the best way it could be.” She takes a deep breath, huffs it out. “And I noticed a lot of nurses in acute care settings,” she pauses to think through her words, “who didn’t really have the tools or the knowledge to provide really good palliative and end-of-life care.“

She went back to school in 2014 to take a Masters of Nursing degree at the University of Toronto. Due to her experiences in critical care and oncology, she focussed a lot of her course work on palliative care and symptom management. “I really became passionate about that approach to care. It just fell into place that I ended up in this position at Mount Sinai,” she says. 

“Being at the bedside, I found that patients and families would say things like they were afraid of dying or afraid of suffering.” In her former roles, she felt she didn’t “have that time to understand them and get to know where they’re coming from. But in this role, I’m really able to get to know the patient and the family, and understand the whole person.”

“It’s what I value about the area. It’s what inspired me to go into it; is getting to know that person as a whole, not just focussing on the medical aspects. Your focus is on who they really are and how we can help them meet more person-centred goals.”

Part of Emily’s role with the In-Hospital Care Team is to pass on her knowledge and experience to other nurses, to give them the tools to help them cope with the demands of the job. “The team that I work with is amazing and supportive, and I feel like I can really help to improve practice from a nursing perspective; empower and support nurses. At the bedside they see suffering. They may see a patient die but then they have to move on to the next patient, particularly in acute care. They haven’t really had time to debrief or reflect, so I give them some strategies around doing that, for example.”

The last question we discuss is what I call my ‘magic wand question’: if I gave you a magic wand and told you that you could change one thing about your work, what would it be?

“Better communication among interdisciplinary team members. That would really contribute to improved patient care. It can be frustrating to chase people down or when people supply different information to the patient. So, I think communication would be a big piece.”

She nods to herself, pauses, and then spits out the last word. “Also, less paperwork.”


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