Carly Derpak

CarlyDerpakFairytales can come true.  Although this statement sounds sentimental and juvenile it is my reality.  While other children played with dolls and toy cars, I was invariably found placing band aids on all things broken.  My reality now is that my job helps those that are sick, I care for a living, and I absolutely love it.

I started out my nursing career volunteering in a primary health care clinic in the remote region of Mafi-Seva, Ghana.  My passion for primary health care set me on this quest, although it became immediately apparent that my inexperience would turn this opportunity into a massive learning curve and eventual re-evaluation of my career path. I needed to learn more, gain valuable experience, start from the bottom up.  Therefore, I worked several years on Medical ward at Vancouver General Hospital.  Here I gained valuable knowledge not only about assessment and disease pathways but that my patients are the single most valuable tool for health promotion, early intervention and maintaining wellness.

My thirst for knowledge continued when I decided to specialize into Critical Care.  Here I learned what is it to be a part of a truly collaborative interdisciplinary team.  The fairytale continued.  I loved my job, my coworkers, my patients and their families.  Despite this, I’ve never lost the pull the return back to my roots and original passion for primary health care.  We save the lives of critically ill patients, but my mind constantly wandered back to thoughts of how this illness/admission could have been prevented, how little the patients and families know about their health, and how daunting the health care system appears from the outside.

I applied for the University of British Columbia’s Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner Master’s program, and was thrilled to be accepted.  Over the past two years I have thoroughly enjoyed the program and learning the new role of a Nurse Practitioner.  Likewise, I’m excited for the opportunities and new doors that have been opened.