“I enjoy the collaborative approach between our Public Health Nursing team, the community, and our interdisciplinary partnerships to reach a common goal. It is also a dynamic, independent role and I love the professional growth it allows me to achieve. It is such a unique experience to be part of the epicenter of outbreak management during a pandemic.
I did the final practicum of my BSN in Public Health Nursing and I have worked in the field for four years so far. I worked in a variety of settings, for example – with children, families, schools, immunizations and case management of vaccine-preventable diseases. We get intense education in epidemiology, immunization, communicable diseases and counseling. This piqued my interest in communicable disease follow up. When an opportunity presented itself to join the team, I seized it and I have loved it ever since.
Our team of calm and generous medical health officers at Fraser Health have provided incredible support to us throughout this time.
Case management and contact tracing are like investigative work to piece together a puzzle. Through conversations with the clients, you get a sense of where they could have acquired COVID and who they might have exposed during their infectious period. You use your nursing skills to build a rapport and relationship with clients in order to have them feel comfortable and confident enough to share sensitive information about their lives with you, so you can protect the public at large. We continually assess and monitor COVID-positive clients and their contacts during their infectious and incubation periods to ensure they are medically stable and following our isolation recommendations. We also address any concerns that arise during that period.
I will always remember one particular family that I was so pleased to have helped. Our collaborative conversations resulted in restricting spread of COVID-19 within their understandably worried and upset household; early identification of a need for a higher level of care; and safe hospital transfer for one of the cases, who ended up being diagnosed with a non-related co-infection. I will never forget the gratitude expressed by this lovely family. It really helped me see what an important role and effect public health has on not only people’s lives, but also the pandemic as a whole. Be mindful about your actions and interactions. They have implications not only for your, but also for other people.
Follow the latest advice of public health officials on using your COVID sense to protect our most vulnerable populations. We are all in this together!”
With the shifting demands of the pandemic and the need for new and unique roles, Christine took the leap in to a supervisor role in our Population and Public Health program.
“These are unprecedented times we are living in, and with that comes unique opportunities to add new experience and skills to your repertoire. Reflect on your career to see if your Public Health Nursing and leadership/supervisory experience qualify you as a candidate for a new position.
Be kind to yourself and open to being a learner again. Reflect on the values that are important to you and how you would demonstrate that as a leader.
Look to examples of past leaders to help you guide your professional growth. Noteworthy leaders for me have been approachable, trustworthy, and collaborative. This has helped me shape how I function with my team members.”
Grow your nursing career in the Population and Public Health program – join the Fraser Health family today.