Merck Canada Masters Award
My name is Heather Kilgour, I am a registered nurse working in cancer care at BC Cancer Vancouver. I am currently in the second year of the Master of Science in Nursing program at the University of British Columbia, where I am conducting a thesis project related to understanding how to better support oncology nurses in engaging in advanced care planning conversations with patients and their families.
I was first drawn to a career in nursing quite simply due to a desire to help others. I have always been interested in the science behind medicine and health care, and I wanted the opportunity to work directly with patients to make them feel better, or to support them through challenging times. As I began working as a nurse, I quickly learned what a privilege it is to work so closely with patients and their families and began reflecting on ways in which we could improve patient outcomes and nursing care.
Through my master’s research, I hope to remove barriers for oncology patients to access advanced care planning and improve nursing engagement in facilitating these discussions. I hope to make advanced care planning more accessible for patients and their families, making it common practice that patients with cancer reflect on their personal values and preferences, and share these with their healthcare team.
As I move forward in my career, I hope to continue working with direct care nurses to identify opportunities to improve clinical practice through nursing-led research and interventions, ensuring we continue to push the boundaries of healthcare to improve patient experience and outcomes.