Have you ever considered working in a remote area, with people from another culture, where nature itself will invite you to a different way of life? Did you know that you don't have to leave Quebec because working with the Inuit of Ungava Bay offers you all these opportunities and even more?
Nurses who work at the Ungava Tulattavik Health Centre are fortunate to have a versatile practice. On the one hand, they are in charge of pediatrics, medicine, long-term care, obstetrics, emergency, intensive care, etc. On the other hand, they are also called upon to participate in aerial medical evacuations from villages to the Ungava Tulattavik Health Centre in Kuujjuaq or to a Health Centre in Montreal. They will have to work on promotion and prevention as well as curative care with the existing teams.
In the nursing directorate, we have a head of unit and a CLSC program manager to oversee the teams at the Kuujjuaq hospital and in the various CLSC points of service in Ungava Bay. There are a nursing consultant in practice, an infection prevention consultant and 2 administrative officers.
The head nurse is the immediate supervisor of the employees of the care unit located in Kuujjuaq, the CLSC Kuujjuaq point of service and the department of sterilization. In addition, she is responsible for aeromedical evacuations (Medevac), carried out by nurses in the care unit in the various villages of Ungava Bay.
The care unit is a highly diverse care environment with a capacity of 23 beds. Nurses working there are likely to provide the following nursing services: general medicine, minor surgery, intensive care, psychiatry, obstetrics, pediatrics, gerontology, nursery, delivery room, voluntary pregnancy interruption (VGI) and physical rehabilitation. The team is complemented with Northern Attendants and receptionists.
Having a highly diversified clientele is typical of our reality in the North. For example, a nurse may be responsible for 4 patients: a pregnant woman, a patient with a mental health problem, a 3-year-old child with a respiratory problem and a patient who has had tympanoplasty.
The care unit is a good entry point for an initial experience as a nurse in Ungava Bay. In addition to performing aeromedical evacuations when this occurs, nurses in the care unit are called upon, in turn, to work at the Kuujjuaq CLSC to further develop their skills and work within their enlarged role. They can therefore easily take on replacements at the outpatient clinic and, for some of them, in the dispensaries when the need arises.
With no trained ambulance driver in Ungava Bay, the nurses in the unit are called upon to pick up patients by ambulance when the need arises. They accompany the first responder who drives the ambulance and they go to the location to assess the problem. In short, the nurses in the care unit provide pre-hospital services to the Inuit population during both ambulance and aeromedical transport.
In CLSCs, formerly called dispensaries, nurses, often adventurous, have the drive to excel and to acquire an enriching and sometimes even unusual experience. Each village north of Kuujjuaq has its own point of service. Two to four nurses share the responsibility of the services, both in emergency and community settings. They are clinicians in an enlarged role context. While it is true that village nurses must share the responsibility of being on call, the same is true for community health services focused on prevention and promotion, which is an essential aspect to consider.
Moreover, in a context of isolation, keeping knowledge up to date takes on its full meaning. Nurses will therefore feel more confident in responding to this type of work. There are many tools at the nurses’ disposal to help them: collective prescriptions from the UTHC, the PIQ, various protocols of the health and public health centre. They can contact the resource persons in Kuujjuaq or in public health that oversee the various programs at any time. In addition, they benefit from training and updates in the north or during their holidays down south.
Another facet of the nurse's work at the point of care is partnership. Nurses cultivate relationships not only with other workers in the health centre, but also with teachers and community members. With these different partners, they can respond to various programs such as hepatitis A and B and chickenpox vaccination, for example. The village daycare centre is another example of a preferred location, as nurses are the resource persons in the event of an infectious disease. The COOP and Northern food stores are vital players since they are in daily contact with the population. Often the managers of these stores are aware of the issues that come with junk food and are therefore cooperative.
The community centre and the town hall are also very involved; to give just one example, they supervise the hunting support program and communal freezers. Those who cannot go fishing can thus obtain traditional food all year round.
Nurses with extended roles are therefore generalists. They serve a range of clientele from pregnant women to young children, babies, teenagers and the elderly. They provide various follow-ups such as contraception, vaccination, multiple screening and treatments such as STIs in addition to the administrative work and the coordination of medical visits. In short, over the seasons, it is a varied but highly rewarding work in an area as surprising as it is inviting because of its people and its unique nature.
For all these reasons, our goal is to recruit spirited nurses who have good clinical judgment and a strong sense of responsibility. In short, nurses who are not afraid to take on a major professional challenge.
Working with our team is a unique opportunity you don’t want to miss!