Michelle Weighell, a graduate nurse practitioner working in the Prairie Mountain Health Region shared her experience of planning for and navigating practice changes as a result of COVID-19.
Michelle started by acknowledging the people who’ve supported her professionally and personally these last few very eventful months. Her graduation had initially been postponed because of the forest fires in Alberta but has now been cancelled because of COVID-19. Michelle’s first day as a graduate NP was Feb 3, 2020 and her first day working independently was March 4. Just as she was developing her routine, getting to know the people and processes that were new to her, they all started to change…
Michelle walked through the sequence of events from the March 11 when the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, through the establishment of COVID-19 testing sites, the shift from primary care to COVID screening, and back again. She also noted and explained some of the challenges faced in rural and remote communities like poor cellular coverage, limited access to internet, restricted access to laboratory testing, stigma, workload, information overload and trying to balance these workplace realities with learning to homeschool.
The support of colleagues and family helped her through the first few months of NP practice. She mentioned some additional resources available to healthcare staff including AbilitiCBT and EAP.
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