“It’s an exciting time to be working for Vancouver Coastal Health as a Nurse Practitioner (NP): leadership is excited about role development and the number of NPs is constantly growing. With key roles in addictions, mental health and complex chronic diseases, as NPs we have carved ourselves crucial roles in health care delivery – this is so cool!” says Jennifer, Nurse Practitioner on the North Shore Community. She loves working on the North Shore because it has all the assets and innovation of the big city, with the feel of a small town: “It feels very grounded here, and the team is very connected.”
Jennifer is part of the Quick Response Team (QRT), which provides urgent primary care for seniors at home in an effort to reduce Emergency room visits for non-emergency reasons: “I love that I got to build and develop this role, and continue to shape and reframe service delivery to suit the needs of the community. The average age of my clients is over 90, so this job has provided me with the opportunity to meet some incredible women and men who have made enormous contributions in shaping history.
Over the last six years, I have had the privilege of caring for several centenarians – or people who have lived to be 100 or older. Now, keep in mind, I only visit people who still live at home, so that is notable. My oldest patients have been 107 and 108. One particular day, I visited clients who were 101, 103 and 105 years old – pretty remarkable!”
“The leadership at VCH Coastal has fostered the development of the NP services in the Frail Seniors program to fruition, and that success is reflected in the duplication of my position in other areas across the authority. The changes we have made continue to expand and meet the needs of North Vancouver Elders. This year, we have introduced the Quick Response Team (Registered Nurse, Occupational Therapist, and NP) to the community in order to further support complex frail clients coming from Lions Gate Hospital and mitigate return to hospital socio-functional reasons,” says Jennifer.
“When I started here in 2012, there were only two NPs in North and West Vancouver, and since then we have expanded to six of NPs with VCH and one in private practice! That’s a three-fold increase – so we are all excited to see what is to come for Nurse Practitioners on the North Shore. The energy in the Nurse Practitioner community at VCH right now is palpable – it’s a great time to be joining the team!”