Upon graduating with my first degree in 2007, I desired a position in healthcare to help improve others’ well-being through my work, while continuing to learn about the fascinating human organism. I was employed as a clinical kinesiologist, and my exercise therapy practice became focused in the area of pain management; especially non-pharmacological interventions for chronic pain. This led to professional development and clinical work in things like CBT, mindfulness, neuroplasticity, biofeedback, exposure therapy and narcotic use/abuse management as the beginnings of my experience in mental health.
When the time came to advance in my healthcare career, I chose registered nursing over physiotherapy due to the larger scope of practice. Interestingly, I became fascinated with neurology and mental health through my undergraduate nursing program. I had early exposure to community health and mental health in the nursing program, and discovered there is a large role for nursing in social justice initiatives as well. I feel it is important to support vulnerable populations and remain accountable in allocation of healthcare resources. It seems somewhat serendipitous that nursing gave me an avenue to help others with mental illness and/or addiction, work for healthcare equity and access, and continue learning about humans as holistic beings with complicated biochemical and social mechanisms. Registered nursing allows for such a broad spectrum of unique opportunities, it was the best academic and professional decision I’ve made.
Photo Description: This photo was taken with the mayor of Calgary, Honorable Nahid Nenshi, at an awareness event for homelessness. Our agency, The Alex, works with the Calgary Homeless Foundation and other agencies following housing-first and harm-reduction models. This event was incredibly successful, taking place in central downtown at Olympic Plaza. I was doing advocacy work and garnering awareness for social agencies providing primary healthcare to Calgary’s homeless.