Community nurse takes us along for a shift supporting community clients at Three Bridges Community Health Centre in Vancouver.
In celebration of Nursing Week, nurses from across Vancouver Coastal Health are taking us along for their shift — giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the important work they do, alongside their interdisciplinary teams, to care for our patients, clients and residents.
Andrew De La Cruz is a community health nurse (CHN) at Three Bridges Community Health Centre in Vancouver. Every day, he bikes from home to home, visiting Vancouver Community patients where they're at, while delivering the health-care services they need.
Andrew recently took us along for one of his weekend shifts — documenting his day to give us a behind-the-scenes look at his role. Here's what he shared:
I like to get up early each morning, make a healthy shake, and take my time getting ready before a shift. It's my second weekend shift of the week. I find that working nine-hour shifts allow me to have a great work-life balance.
Each morning, I get to take a scenic bike ride to work. It's nice to start off the day with some fresh air and time to put my mind at ease before the busy day ahead of me. I'm happy that today, the sun is out, because it'll make my commute to see each client more enjoyable.
In the morning, I research my clients and plan my bike route. I often go from one home visit to
another, so I have to ensure I pack all my supplies in my backpack to avoid unnecessary trips
back to the office. I enjoy having the opportunity to work with clients in their homes, and developing relationships with clients and their families.
I check in with my team during morning huddles. We discuss safety and any concerns with our daily rosters. As a CHN, I find that I have a lot of autonomy in my practice, and I get to be creative in problem- solving some unique challenges faced in the community.
In the community, we're guests in our clients' homes. This is where I provide most of my direct patient care. We work with clients to meet their individual health goals at home. This includes everything from wound care to palliative care. We also see mobile patients in our ambulatory clinic at Three Bridges Community Health Centre.
I also spend a significant amount of time on the computer and the phone to connect clients with community resources, speak with physicians, coordinate with pharmacies, conduct nursing consults, as well as chart my visits, phone calls and Zoom calls.
These are some of the nurses that I work with in the community. A handful of us completed our community education program together last summer, and we were embraced with open arms. Our team is very supportive of one another, and it makes coming to work each day that much better.
My colleagues, including nurses, leadership and interdisciplinary team members, work hard as a team and go above and beyond for our clients.
Today's shift went great! I listen to the 7 p.m. cheer and it's uplifting to hear the pots and pans echoing throughout the neighbourhood. It inspires me to continue doing my best to serve the community.
My colleagues feel recognized for their hard work, and feel inspired to continue working and helping people. The cheering brings humanity and connection to us all during this pandemic.
Be sure to check out our Nursing Week campaign at @vchhealthcare on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as we profile new nurses across the regions every week during the month of May!