Northern Health provides updates on staff recruitment, patient simulation programs

Board Chair, Doctor Charles Jago, says when addressing the recruitment issue, he always tries to put it in perspective.

“We do have difficulty filling positions, particularly in the health sciences area, but the number of nurse vacancies is far less than it would have been five or ten years ago. That’s because we have nursing programs in the north,” he explains. “For people in imagine we now have programs in the north. Physiotherapy, we’re establishing in cooperation with UBC. All of those things make a huge difference. Yes there are difficult to fill positions, but our situation is far better than it’s even been I think.” 

This week’s board meeting in Valemount also focused on continuous improvement in delivering quality health care, and featured an update on the Patient Simulation Program, which Doctor Jago called part of the authorities strategic plan.

“We have five major areas that we’re looking at and we have measurements for improvement so we’re very focus on quality especially around surgical practice, emergency room procedures, and things like that. It’s very important to the board.” 

The Authorities President and Chief Operating Officer is Cathy Ulrich, and she noted the equipment is mobile, allowing it to be set up at sites across the region for training opportunities for health care providers. 

“We have patient simulation in Quesnel, and Fort St. John, and in Terrace, as well as in Prince George. We’ve also been able to take the patient simulator out to other communities where people can learn together and practice clinical skills which we know improves quality.”  

From 2012 to 2013, there was an increase of ten percent, in the use of the program in partnership with UNBC and the UBC Faculty of Medicine.