Kevin, Nurse Practitioner, Vancouver General Hospital
“It is always a rewarding feeling to discharge a patient home, who’s recently undergone a lung transplant! I am very fortunate to get to be part of a tremendous team (and one of the four lung transplant programs in Canada) that literally give people a new beginning in their lives,” says Kevin, Nurse Practitioner (NP) for thoracic surgery and lung transplant program at VGH.
Kevin works with thoracic surgeons and fellows, and is responsible for the medical management of all thoracic surgical patients. He also works very closely with the respirologists to provide care for those who have recently undergone lung transplants.
Kevin loves the acuity, intensity, and fast pace that the thoracic service provides. “There is never a boring day at work. I get to collaborate with and learn from some of the most brilliant minds at work. Even in the face of a difficult day at work, I feel that my colleagues, are there supporting and encouraging me.”
Originally recommended to his current position by a friend at VGH who thought he would be a great fit, Kevin met with the head of thoracic surgery, Dr. Yee to further discuss the position. “Dr. Yee talked to me about the philosophy of his practice and about the ways my career could cultivate in this position. He also took me on a quick tour of the thoracic unit and introduced me to the entire thoracic team on the first day we met (before I even applied for the job)! Realizing the position was a great fit for me, I took it as a temporary contract, which later became a permanent position,” says Kevin.
Although Kevin’s job can be challenging at times, he always feels supported by his team and colleagues, who he now considers friends. “The surgeons, as well as everyone on the interdisciplinary team, are always willing to share their knowledge with me, which is constantly shaping me into a more confident and competent person. The directors of the surgical program, NP professional practice lead, and my NP mentors have been extremely supportive and encouraging from day one.”
Jennifer, Nurse Practitioner – North Shore Community
“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!”