“What’s in Chetwynd?”
“Can’t you find work in Prince George?”
These are all frequent questions that I’m faced with after I tell my friends and family where I work.
I know, it’s odd for a 24-year-old new graduate nurse to leave her home town of Prince George, a place of roughly 80,000 people, and move to a community of 2,500. So yeah... I can understand why these questions come up.
Let me tell you: “Why Chetwynd.”
Picture this: I’m commuting to work, and I barely get through two songs on the radio because the whole drive is a staggering five minutes - including my Timmies run. Upon my triumphant arrival, I’m greeted by every staff member, and I mean everyone, in the hospital (*cue Cheers theme song*).
You might think I’m being sarcastic, but the part I truly cherish most about my job is the friendships that I’ve made in the past year and a half. Working in a rural facility means that the x-ray department isn’t just the x-ray department; it’s made up of friends that you go out for wings with, and people whose strengths and weaknesses you know. You begin to appreciate not only the teamwork of your department, but of the healthcare team as a whole.Another rural nursing benefit that I really enjoy is the amount of time I get to spend with patients. I always hear from friends who work in larger facilities that the patient turn-over rate is so high, you don’t really get time to see a full picture of your patients. In Chetwynd, not only do I often get to triage, treat, and admit clients, but I also get to follow through with their care.
I’ve enjoyed getting to see the whole picture, and I can confidently say that this continuity of care has given me a solid foundation in my overall client care-planning skills.
Though I’m leaving Chetwynd to return home while I specialize in emergency nursing, I won’t forget the experiences and knowledge that I’ve gained from being the “everything nurse.” I can’t imagine what my nursing practice would look like without the mentorship and guidance of the physicians and nursing staff in this awesome little community.
I plan to bring the positivity of rural nursing wherever I go, and I’d like to thank everyone at the Chetwynd Hospital, Primary Care Clinic, and BC Ambulance for their welcoming environment, and genuine good times. I’d proudly recommend Chetwynd to anyone looking for a great rural healthcare experience, and will look back on my time spent here fondly, with a permanent smile!