Leo Ochieng cared for COVID-19 patients during his rural clinical rotation, giving him the opportunity to not only care for patients at the bedside but also to support his fellow health-care workers.

Meet Leo: Charismatic | Trailblazer | Passionate
Program: Bachelor of Nursing

Why did you choose ULethbridge?
I chose ULethbridge because of the reputation of the nursing program. I was drawn to the fact that students were able to complete a rotation in rural environments. I found this was a great choice because of the way the institution was able to introduce students to nursing with context to the environment of southern Alberta. Looking back at the robust experience I was able to gain in Taber, Alberta, I don't regret this decision. I also loved seeing how early students were exposed to patient interactions. I saw this as a substantial advantage in gaining comfort with patients at the bedside over the course of my bachelor's degree. 

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
Amongst several memorable moments, the Ulethbridge experience that stood out to me was providing care for COVID-19 patients during my rural clinical rotation. The pandemic brought forward such a unique opportunity to support the health-care profession as a student. Being given the choice to support nurses right at the bedside was an extremely personal and impactful experience in my journey because of this. I felt like I was able to make a difference for the betterment of the larger community, and also rapidly grow as an incoming provider. 

How have your professors impacted your education?
My professors have been able to act as my role models not only in clinical practice but also as people. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing clinical instructors who have shown me what it means to be an exceptional health-care provider. By watching how they operate, I have been inspired to be the best provider I can be and to give back to the community I grew from when possible. My instructors not only taught me how to be a good nurse but also exemplified how to be good people. 

Is there anyone who has had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?
There have been so many people in the ULethbridge community who have had a positive impact on my experience. Even if I tried, I would never be able to narrow the list down to a couple of names. I have come across so many mentors and role models who have helped shape my development as an academic, clinician, advocate and researcher. 

What are your hopes and plans for the future?
After graduating nursing school, I plan on working as an emergency department registered nurse in Calgary. I hope to simultaneously continue volunteering as a rave/festival medic upon completion of my bachelor's degree. I also plan on continuing my personal research project on how the diversification of health-care providers impacts patient outcomes in marginalized populations. In June of 2024, I will be presenting my fourth international address as a podium presentation in the Czech Republic. Aside from this, I will continue increasing intensity in endurance sport racing!

In your free time, what do you like to do?
In my free time, you can find me in the mountains! I love staying active through outdoor sporting activities such as hiking, climbing and open-water swimming. I love engaging in endurance sport so a lot of my time is spent training for marathons and triathlons. When I'm not exploring the outdoors, I enjoy reading autobiographies of popular figures within the medical context to learn as much as I can about medicine in clinical practice. 

What advice would you give to someone about to start their journey at ULethbridge?
Don't be mediocre in your involvement. Being involved really makes a meaningful experience over the course of your degree. Take the time to immerse yourself in order to find where you fit in best within the ULethbridge community. There are a lot of ways to get involved so don't be timid in your exploration of what the university has to offer. It's possible to make a footprint in your community and change comes from people no smarter than you.