Thulirkal – Nurse and Lecturer, Gaayathry Thurairajah

CTYA’s Blog has started a new Feature on Fridays, Thulirkal. Thulirkal meaning bud reflects the young Tamil youth we will be featuring. These youth are the buds of our community, and are growing into strong, achieving young men and women! 

This week, we’ve brought you Gaayathry Thurairajah!

11573Gaayathry Thurairajah completed her undergrad BScN in 2009 at Ryerson University. Shortly after that, she started working at Sick Kids hospital full time, and part time at Humber River Regional hospital in the Medical Oncology department & Emergency Department. Gaayathry also teaches Pediatric Nursing part-time at York University. Teaching is her passion as she enjoys helping youth gain knowledge in this field. Her passion for teaching has taken her across the globe with Sick Kids International to the Middle East. For the past two years, she has been intermittently going to Doha to help facilitate a Respiratory curriculum that she has been working on. Her love for teaching has led to her choice in Graduate studies; she is currently enrolled in her Masters in Nursing:Teaching stream which she is working to complete on a part-time basis. Needless to say, Gaayathry is a work-a-holic as she truly enjoys what she does!

CTYA Blogs: So let’s get warmed up. Ok, now don’t think, just say what comes to mind first. 1,2,3…

Shy or Outgoing? Outgoing
Candy or Chocolate? Candy
Kothu roti or Biriyani? Kothu roti
Favourite Song? Kanavai Kanavai- David. Love this song.
A skill every nurse should have? Critical thinking

CTYA Blogs: It is common for parents within the Tamil community to encourage their children to pursue a career as a physician than a nurse. A lack of understanding about the important role that nurses play in the quality,efficiency,and engagement in health care contributes to this. What are your thoughts on this?

This is very true. I remember when I was in nursing school, a lot of my family members looked down upon nursing and didn’t understand why I didn’t do a degree such as Life Sciences to prepare myself for Medical School. I felt that a large part of the Tamil community does not truly understand and appreciate the nursing profession and as a result the profession is undervalued.

CTYA Blogs: Describe a day in your shoes at the hospital.

First off, there is never a ‘typical’ day when you’re a nurse. Every day is very different. I am a charge nurse on the unit I work on so I begin my day off by getting report from the night nurse on all the kids on the floor. I have to attend a few meetings in the morning to allocate new patients and look at our hospital census. I then have to attend patient rounds with the medical team to discuss the plan for the day for each patient. Thereafter, my day is variable depending on the type of patients and procedures that are happening within the hospital.

CTYA Blogs: Stress is a component in the lives of many people. As an individual in the health care field, stress can not cloud your judgement or ability to care for a patient. How do you handle stress on the job?

Stress is part of my everyday job. I work on a unit in which children can be very sick and we have to run code blues often. We have a strong focus on family centered care at Sick Kids, and in stressful situations we have to both deal with the child and the anxious parents. Throughout my career of nursing, I have learned to handle stress in a positive light.

CTYA Blogs: What do you find to be the best and difficult part of your job?

I genuinely enjoy the feeling of being able to care for the children I work with. I feel like I am making a difference working with these children and families. Seeing smiles on their faces gives me satisfaction that cannot be put into words. The most difficult part of my job is seeing children sick and suffering. I try my best to not let my emotions get involved in my job, but at the end of the day – we are all human.

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CTYA Blogs: Students enrolled in universities and colleges sometimes predict the post-graduation life as “YES! NO MORE STUDYING!”. In your opinion, how important is continuous learning and development after graduation?

I can relate to feeling the same way when I was done nursing school. I didn’t realize the importance of continuous learning until I started practicing as an Registered Nurse.  There are constant changes to practice as a result of studies that are done on an ongoing basis. This is why it is important to stay up to date with the most current health practices through continuous learning.

CTYA Blogs: What would your advice be to a youth interested in pursuing a nursing career? 

Gain as much experience as you can when you are in nursing school. Volunteer at different hospitals, look for clinical externship positions. You should also take extra courses in the field that you wish to pursue. I always advise my students to look for opportunities to make them stand out.

CTYA Blogs: If you could go anywhere in the world for two weeks, where would it be and why?

I would want to go backpacking in Europe. There is so much to see and so much to do. Europe is full of rich culture and experiences.

CTYA Blogs: Finish this sentence. “To me, Tamil youth are…”

To me, Tamil youth are the key to our future. I feel that it is our responsibility to guide the Tamil youth in the right direction in order to ensure that our community has a bright future.

CTYA Blogs: Anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to thank CTYA for this interview. CTYA is doing a great job portraying out community in a positive light. Keep up the great work 🙂


Thank you for joining us today Gaayathry! We wish you the best on all your future endeavours!

For more information or to suggest a youth to interview, please feel free to email us at!

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