“Amazingly enough, it is coming up to the five year anniversary of my graduation from the UBC School of Nursing in April this year,says Alison. With a passion for people, science, and human physiology, she had completed an undergrad degree in Physiology and wanted to work in a health promotion related area after graduating. “I tried research but decided I wanted to work more directly with people, in a teaching and therapeutic capacity.” She spent a number of years working in fitness and human resource-related administration and then decided on nursing as a path to more clinically-related health promotion work.
Upon starting nursing school, her intention was eventually to pursue work in public health, “I became very interested in acute medicine through my time in the program and worked in acute medicine at VGH my first year after graduating. I had a concurrent interest in maternal/newborn health, so had focused my avenues option in maternity.”
After working casually in acute medicine for a year, Alison started working casually in post partum at BC Women’s for some time as well. The shift work was not a good fit, so she decided to pursue her interest in public health nursing sooner than she had anticipated. She moved to Raven Song Community Health Centre and has been working there with the Infant Child & Youth Team ever since. “My work focuses on children ages newborn to five years old and their families,” says Alison. “I love my work. It involves a wide range of activities from post partum home visits to growth and development assessment, immunization administration, and counselling, as well as working with families to connect them with appropriate resources in their communities, building their capacity to thrive in the multiple determinant of health areas. It has also been a highlight to join the clinical instructor team at UBC. I’ve been involved in the maternity course, spending the day with students doing post partum maternal and newborn care in the community setting.”
One of Alison’s recent successes has been establishing a “Nurses on Bikes” program funded through Vancouver Coastal Health’s Innovation Funds, which allows nurses to use their bikes for their work related contacts in the community