Pam Ottem (BSN ’67, MSN ’75)

Pam graduated with a BSN in 1967 and an MSN in 1975. She keeps in touch regularly with her classmates of 1967, meeting with them most recently in beautiful Waterton Lakes, Alberta. At the time Pam did her undergraduate nursing degree, the first year of a five-year program was made up of Arts or Science courses and the next four years were nursing courses, with two to three months during the summers getting clinical experience at St. Paul’s or Riverview Hospital.

Pam has had a varied and exciting work-life. She was interested in a career in psychiatric nursing. After graduating in 1967 she worked at VGH wanting to work in psychiatry but ended up working in pediatrics. She wasn’t happy there and decided to go to Europe for a year.

When she came back, she applied to work at the psychiatric unit at UBC and assisted Bill Brown with collecting data for a research project he was doing at Riverview. While driving with him to Riverview, he often spoke about his residency in Montreal and how wonderful it was to work at the Allen Memorial Institute there. She decided to go there herself and worked there for a couple of years. She loved Montreal, it was an exciting time and place and “The Allen” was a great place to work, with lots of exciting programs and the staff consisting of many young motivated people. She then moved to Toronto and worked in public health for a year.

Pam taught at UBC for a few years in Psychiatry and Gerontology, and then worked in the Extended Care Unit at UBC as an educator, at Mount St. Joseph’s as Director of Extended Care for eight years and finally as a Nursing Practice Consultant with the CRNBC. She is semi –retired now, working part time in the Fraser Health with a Clinical Nurse Specialist in orthopaedics.

Pam loves to travel and is attempting to get her husband to enjoy it as much as she does. In 1997 she and her sister agreed to go to Tibet together in six year’s time. Pam showed her skill and luck with the stock market by growing their travel fund from $3000 to more than $20,000 in one year! She and her sister spent six weeks travelling together while their husbands stayed home and her sister’s husband looking after their six-year old daughter. The parting gifts from their husbands were interesting; her sister’s husband gave her sister $500.00 (American!), Pam’s husband gave her a giant economy box of Imodium, practical man that he was!