Building nursing connections in the island's northern regions

Denise Titian, May 8, 2019

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s nursing department delivers services to several northern communities on Vancouver Island, including the remote village of Kyuquot. (Eric Plummer photo)

Campbell River, BC — 

Island Health and the Nuu-chah-nulth nursing program hosted a meet and greet on April 30 to introduce the NTC’s nursing team and inform the northern communities about the services they deliver and to build partnerships with local healthcare professionals.

The event was held at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Campus.

The NTC nurses deliver services throughout Nuu-chah-nulth territories, including the northern communities of Ehattesaht, Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k'tles7et'h', Mowachaht/Muchalaht and Nuchatlaht.

They deliver professional, ethical, culturally-safe and competent care to meet the needs of patients and the community.

“Culture is deeply embedded into nursing practice and still meets the regulatory body’s responsibility to meet nursing standard of practice,” wrote Michelle McClain, North Island manager for Aboriginal Health.

NTC Nursing Manager Jeannette Watts said the purpose of the meet-and-greet was to build connections with health service providers, including physicians in the Campbell River area. This is being done in other Nuu-chah-nulth regions as well.

“We want to build connections with a team-based approach,” said Watts.

The NTC nursing staff hopes that by connecting with health professionals they will get referrals from patients that would benefit from nursing services.

“We would like to see more early pregnancy referrals or referrals for patients dealing with chronic conditions,” Watts said.

The NTC nursing department heard that there were 90 elders in Port Alberni not accessing NTC nursing services. While they don’t know the reasons for this, it is their hope that by building partnerships with organizations like Island Health they can deliver services to more of those in need.

Watts said that the NTC nursing program has also been in communications with the Port Alberni Friendship Center and hope that PAFC clients can soon access NTC nursing information and services there.

There is no NTC nursing program based in Campbell River, but Nuu-chah-nulth residents there can still access services. Watts advises that Nuu-chah-nulth people wishing to have NTC services may contact Nurse Navigator Benedict Leonard at the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council offices in Port Alberni.

Patients may also ask to speak to the Aboriginal Liaison Nurse (ALN) at their local hospital for assistance.  ALN’s can be found at hospitals in Victoria, Saanich, Duncan, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Campbell River and Tofino.

For more information about the NTC nursing program and the services they offer, contact NTC Nursing Manager Jeannette Watts at 250-724-5757 or toll free at 1-877-677-1131.