Carissa Surujpaul


Carissa Surujpaul


It’s a rare person who, when asked to name the best thing about their job, enthuses without a pause: “I’m going to say everything!”

Carissa Surujpaul, who works as a nurse in the Emergency Department (ED), is that rare person. She joined MSH in 2009, fresh from school.

“I think nursing is truly a passion,” she says. “There are good days and bad days, but just providing care and seeing smiles on people’s faces is very rewarding. In the ED, people come there because they aren’t feeling well or their loved ones aren’t feeling well. So the interaction and problem solving makes it a challenging environment. It’s kind of like a big puzzle.”

Carissa truly likes to figure things out. On her own initiative, she launched the Hospital Identification Project. “We work with so many people in the ED, and everyone’s IDs are not always displayed well… some of us wear scrubs, some wear T-shirts and scrub pants, or whatever. And I noted that patients would look at us and not be able to tell who we are or what our jobs are. So I wanted to create an easier identification system.”

Carissa did some research, and then mocked up ID badges that clearly and creatively denote a person’s name and position.She presented her designs and a report to senior management. They loved it, and she received a Quality in Action award for her contribution.

And the accolades Carissa has received for her work do not end there. She was recognized by MSH’s grateful patient program for going above and beyond to provide enhanced care to our patients. As well, she has been nominated twice for the Robert J. Gall Nursing Award of Excellence and once for the Toronto Star Nightingale Nursing Award.

“I think every day is a learning experience. I like to make things better. It’s part of our job. We’re always trying to improve upon things. Some things don’t need improvement, but if there’s a way to make it easier, why not?”

Carissa was featured in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue Healthy.Together.Markham.Stouffville magazine as an MSH Hero.

MSH Heroes make a difference. You won’t see MSH Heroes in capes or costumes but you will see them walking the halls of the hospital every day. Our heroes save lives, combat illness and go above and beyond to provide compassionate care to our patients. MSH Heroes have been recognized by a grateful patient, family, peer or community supporter and honoured with a donation to support exceptional patient care close to home.