From the ER working as a trauma nurse to working in remote First Nations communities, meet Wello Nurse Practitioner Lindsay Bruce the latest addition to our Wello team. Lindsay is passionate about primary and preventative health care, her family, and staying active.
- What inspired you to become a nurse practitioner?
I have always felt drawn to a career where I can help people, and becoming a Registered Nurse was a natural choice. I loved my career in the Emergency Department as an RN, however as the years passed and the environment became busier with more focus on tasks rather than patient care, I realized I needed to make a change. As a nurse practitioner, I have the opportunity to treat the client and engage in health teaching and promotion. With an expanded scope of practice, I can fulfill the clinician role while simultaneously providing the high quality care that nurses are known for which is unique to the nursing profession. I feel very lucky to be able to fulfill such a unique role in the healthcare landscape.
- What is your previous work experience?
I started my career as a Registered Nurse in an Emergency Department of a level 1 Trauma Centre in Toronto. Patient acuity was very high, and I gained valuable experience in urgent and emergent care. After I graduated from the Nurse Practitioner program, I began working with an agency that places nurses in remote First Nations communities throughout Northern Ontario and Manitoba. I have worked in several different communities, completing two to three week contracts at a time. Each community has a Nursing Station which is the only point of access for medical care including primary health care, urgent and emergent issues. There are many challenges working in remote locations, mainly timely access to medical care and resources. I have enjoyed my time working in the North, which has allowed me to focus on my area of study which is Primary Health Care but also keep my urgent and emergency medical skills current.
- What brought you to Wello?
I recently started a family and was looking for an opportunity to work from home, and Wello is the perfect fit. I enjoy new challenges and am excited to be a part of a virtual healthcare service that is dedicated to preventative health care and values the service NP’s provide.
- If you could give one piece of health advice what would it be?
Do what makes you happy! So much of our physical health depends on our mental health. Being in tune with our stressors and knowing how to keep a healthy balance is incredibly important to overall health and happiness. Knowing when to check-in with yourself and make adjustments to your lifestyle when you’re feeling out of balance is key to overall health.
- How do you stay healthy?
I do not own a car and am fortunate enough to live in a small town where I can walk everywhere. I like to go on hikes and surf as well. I also ensure that I maintain a healthy work/life balance and make time to see family and friends, take time each day just for myself, try to live in the moment and appreciate what I have. In recent years, I’ve learned to slow down and not put too much on my plate at once which has allowed me to focus on the things in my life that make me happy. This has been the biggest change that has affected my overall health.
- Do you specialize in any specific areas of health care?
My education is in Primary Health Care and my experience has been in taking care of individuals across their life-span. I see clients for well checks including preventative screening, episodic issues, chronic disease management, health and lifestyle teaching/coaching, prenatal and postnatal care, as well as urgent and emergent issues. Another specialty is Primary Health Care in First Nation Communities and the issues specific to this population.
- Are there any life–changing moments that affirmed your choice of career in healthcare?
I have had many experiences that have affirmed my choice to serve others. In my very early career, I had the privilege of taking care of a woman dying of cancer. The progression of her disease was much quicker than expected. When she presented to the Emergency Room with several family members, she was unable to breath. I was there to help her be as comfortable as possible in her last hours and support her family with the unexpected situation. Being a witness to the incredible love the family had for each other and being a part of such an intimate event in their lives was incredibly hard but also very rewarding. This early experience affirmed my choice to be in health care by reminding me of the incredible role nurses have in other’s lives and the responsibility that comes with this career.
- What do you like to do outside of work? What do you do to stay healthy?
My husband and I love to travel and explore outdoors. We love anything we can do outdoors together; hiking, biking, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, and swimming. We also have a 10-month-old daughter who keeps us very busy and we love watching her learn and grow. We try our best to eat our local fruits and enjoy a smoothie bowl almost every morning. We eat locally caught fish (usually my husband catches it!), and we prepare typical Costa Rican dishes with rice, beans, and plantains. There is a region in Costa Rica just south of us called a “Blue Zone” where people live past 100 years old, and the local diet has a lot to do with that. We walk every day and try to take in as many sunsets as possible at the beach.