Comox Valley nurse forms partnerships

Registered nurse Gail Timmons describes her job as a partnership.

GAIL TIMMONS is a registered nurse at the Vancouver Island Health Authority's Comox Valley Nursing Centre.

Registered nurse Gail Timmons describes her job as a partnership.

Timmons gives a peek into her role at the Comox Valley Nursing Centre for the Record’s second article looking at non-hospital-based nursing positions in celebration of National Nursing Week (May 6-12).

Timmons says she works in partnership with her clients when helping them better manage their chronic pain and chronic disease.

“It’s about the partnering,” she says. “So it’s listening with compassion, hearing the story between the lines, knowing what’s available in the community, knowing what’s available in our program here, and then supporting the client to make decisions that work for him or her.”

Timmons notes four part-time registered nurses work at the Vancouver Island Health Authority’s Comox Valley Nursing Centre, which is open for drop-in visits Monday to Friday. The centre offers care in a variety of areas besides chronic pain and chronic disease management, like eating disorders, men’s health, support groups, workshops, street outreach and health education.

She says the job is complex. For example, if a patient comes in for help with some sort of chronic pain, there are often many other life stressors which could influence that pain.

“It’s not just about pain; it’s about lifestyle changes and mental challenges,” she says. “A lot of people lose their jobs so there’s financial changes, sometimes relationships struggle through it — so the nurse works in partnership with that person to work around the nursing part, the medical part, and the teaching and education, and she works as an advocate for them.

“Then, if there’s other skills that are required, like mental health counselling, the nurse will refer the client to mental health services or things that are available in the community.”

She likens herself to the navigator sitting in the passenger seat of her client’s car.

“I’ve got a glove compartment full of all kinds of really interesting maps and I have no idea where you want to go. My role is to be a listener to your story,” she says, adding she’ll find out generally which direction her client might like to take. “And, I go, ‘Hang on a sec,’ and I pull out a map and I say, ‘Oh look, here’s some of our options, what do you think?'”

Timmons has worked at nursing centre for 12 years and before that she worked as a nurse in various different parts of the world, spent 20 years working at the BC Children’s Hospital and spent 17 years in First Nations communities on the B.C. coast and the Northern Interior.

She says this nursing position is her favourite in all her career.

“In all my experience, I’ve never enjoyed the style of work as much as here because it’s like going travelling every day…the people are different, the issues are different, the concerns are different, we have a very gifted and supportive team, committed team,” she says.

“It’s always a thrill to have somebody not come anymore, not so much because they’re tired of us, but because they’ve moved through whatever it is that they needed help with.”

For more information about the Comox Valley Nursing Centre and what it offers, visit www.viha.ca/comox_valley_nursing_centre or call 250-331-8502.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Basket raffle a Comox Valley Child Development Association Children’s Telethon tradition

One-stop Christmas shopping with Winner Takes All Basket rffle

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Golden anniversary for G.P. Vanier Thursday

It was a day of celebration for students, educators and administrators past… Continue reading

Comox Valley RCMP seeking witnesses of attempted sexual assault

The Comox Valley RCMP is looking for witnesses after an attempted sexual… Continue reading

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Most Read