Recent History – 2000
June 22, 2000
DAWSON CREEK — Dawson Creek and District Hospital may repeat a popular on-site operating room training program to ease a continuing hospital nursing shortage.
And the program, sponsored by a joint labour-management health agency, may be broadened to include registered nurses from other hospitals according to South Peace Health Council (SPHC) acting operating room head nurse Fern Christensen.
Christensen said nurse educators from Prince George and Williams Lake are considering adopting similar on-site registered nurse specialty training at their hospitals.
Parts of the Dawson Creek operating room curriculum are also being utilized in Lower Mainland specialty nurse training programs. Although the hospital has offered specialty training twice in the past year, Christensen said staff shortages will continue to be a problem with expanding job opportunities and services required.
She said funding and curriculum enhancements provided by the Healthcare Labour Adjustment Agency (HLAA) help overcome some of the roadblocks to specialty RN training in the north.
“With HLAA support, we can provide a program meeting national standards on-site,” Christensen said in a news release.
Beth Kidd, director of acute patient care services, also encourages on-site training.
“We find it impossible to recruit nurses with operating room training and experience and the cost of sending people for training is prohibitive,” Kidd said.
“HLAA helps with funding and links us with training expertise complimenting our staff knowledge and skills.”
Kidd said the education process is supportive and relevant since trainees are learning in the same environment as they are employed.
Trainees say the program meets the needs of the community.
“With more staff available in the operating room, there is less waiting for patients needing surgery and therefor the community is better served,” said Brenda DeVuyst, a recent graduate of the program.
The course offers an introduction to general surgery, gynecology, urology and minor orthopedics.
Future course graduates will qualify for three upper division non-university transfer credits with the collaborative nursing program in British Columbia, a partnership of 10 B.C. nursing programs that prepare individuals for work as registered nurses.