Mrs. Margaret Drinnon, Red Cross outpost nurse from Hudson Hope in the raw Peace River country, says that fortunately her one-bed hospital is in a vigorous healthy community.
Mrs. Drinnon is here to discuss methods and developments with nurses from eight other isolated outposts in BC at the first annual Red Cross Outpost convention.
Mrs. Drinnon’s job is a 24-hour vigilance of the 2500 people in Hudson’s Hope, for she is the only registered nurse there.
The one doctor in the area, Dr. Heremia, is hired by the Peace River dam’s construction firm and therefore his first duty is to the workers, situated at a camp 12 miles away.
Mrs. Drinnon spends most of her time visiting sick youngsters, performing public health services, and diagnosing complaints. Acute cases are flown out or driven out 65 miles to the nearest hospital in Fort St. John.
Mrs. Drinnon keeps in constant contact with doctors in Fort St. John who give her advice and send necessary drugs. The health department there visits twice a month to hold a baby clinic. She calls it “The Circus”, for there are more and more children being born in this growing area of B.C. The greatest need, however, is a dentist, for there is no one in Hudson Hope to care for teeth.
The policy of the Red Cross is to send nurses to “isolated” areas where medical supervision is needed. The inhabitants no longer think of Hudson Hope as isolated, connected as it is to Fort St. John by a good road with bus service and a daily flight. The Red Cross has given no indication of withdrawing their services as they usually do when a community begins to grow rapidly.
Mrs. Drinnon grew up in Prince George and trained as a nurse in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Victoria. Her husband is president of the Hudson Hope Chamber of Commerce where they have been living for the past four years. They have two children, Cameron, 9, and Derek, 6, as well as a German Shepherd and a pony called Printo.