Celebrating Nurses Week

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Guest Blog: Chief Strategy Officer and Interim CEO – Toni Lemon

We love celebrating the work of health care staff on the front-lines – those that provide direct support and care to the residents in our communities – and Nurses’ Week is a great opportunity to do that. This year, we decided to celebrate Nurses Week in a bit of a different, hands on type of way.

I was privileged to shadow Marie, one of the nurse practitioners at the Waterloo Region Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic (WRNPLC), Kitchener location. Staff at the clinic were proud to provide a tour of the bright spacious treatment areas, highlighting the interdisciplinary health professionals that clinic patients are able to access including a dietitian, social worker and other supports.

Patient centred care that is truly patient centred

I joined Nurse Practitioner Marie as she completed a patient intake assessment with a new patient. I was particularly impressed by the way Marie took time to truly connect with the new patient to gain a detailed understanding of his health needs, lifestyle, how his occupation as a fireman could impact his health – even the needs of his family.

When we look at the vital role that primary care plays in helping residents maintain health and well-being and prevent illness, it is clear that it is not only the provision of care but the quality of the relationship that exists between provider and patient that has great impact.

I also spent some time with the other staff at the clinic and they shared how their care model is providing better and more comprehensive care for patients. They often use technology like videoconferencing, to connect patients with additional care and education and their social worker links patients with other supportive services such as the food bank and financial supports.

Over the next year, some of the work we will be doing will help to ensure that Waterloo Wellington residents are able to access primary care when they need it, and that all primary care providers have the community, health and social services partners that they need to support their patients. The Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic is a shining example of how collaboration with other providers helps to improve their patients’ overall health and well-being.

Thank you to the staff and patients of the WRNPLC for their candidness and patience, for taking the time to show us their world and how they support the health and wellness of our residents every day. Thank you to all of the nurses who make a difference in the lives of residents, every day; happy Nurses Week.

Toni