“My role at CMHA began in October 2019 (pre-global pandemic) which seems like a lifetime ago. Over the course of a year, I have watched virtual care grow exponentially at CMHA WW and in the community…and I think it’s safe to say, virtual care is here to stay! During the pandemic, it has been very rewarding to be able to assist clients to connect to psychiatry and mental health services safely during a province-wide lockdown.”
1. What is involved in your role?
The RPN telemedicine nurse is a part time role at CMHA WW. I work two days a week and support clients to connect to psychiatric consultations and other various virtual resources. I assist with service partnerships, including local Rural Wellington Family Health Team’s (FHTs) as well as CAMH’s Tele-Mental Health Program and can support CMHA WW members with a multitude of virtual opportunities.
2. What brought you to CMHA WW?
In 2019, there was a part-time telemedicine nursing position available with CMHA WW. I was already working at the Minto-Mapleton and Mount Forest Family Health Teams as a part-time telemedicine nurse in which my role mainly consisted of assisting clients to connect with psychiatric services from various mental health organizations utilizing the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). My telemedicine experience with the FHTs allowed me to form solid connections with the team at CMHA WW through supporting rural OTN psychiatry clinics. The nursing roles at CMHAWW and the FHT’s have complemented each other perfectly and have allowed me to expand my knowledge further and support the community.
3. How do you support people at CMHA WW in your role?
My experience with the Rural Wellington FHTs have allowed me to connect their patients as well as Rural Wellington CMHA WW clients to CAMH psychiatry. The service is most appropriate for tier 1-3 clients who only require a one-time psychiatric consultation. CMHA WW members can consult about appropriate referrals and virtual psychiatric avenues, as well as other telemedicine services and programs available.
A level of client support and coordination is involved with this nursing role to assure seamless communication between service providers and clients. I also assist the AIS team to develop virtual program opportunities, utilizing the growing tools and accessing other online supports that might be are available.
4. What are you proud of during your time at CMHA WW?
My role at CMHA began in October 2019 (pre-global pandemic) which seems like a lifetime ago. Over the course of a year, I have watched virtual care grow exponentially at CMHA WW and in the community…and I think it’s safe to say, virtual care is here to stay!
During the pandemic, it has been very rewarding to be able to assist clients to connect to psychiatry and mental health services safely during a province-wide lockdown. This past month, I was able to assist a client who recently received a diagnosis of Stage 3 breast cancer to connect with a CAMH psychiatrist from the comfort of her own home. She was able to review a treatment plan for her anxiety and longstanding symptoms of agoraphobia. This client can now focus on her cancer treatment, while her primary GP has a formal psychiatric consultation report to best support the client’s mental health during this difficult time.
5. What would you like people to know about Nursing & Adult Intensive Services (AIS)?
Nursing has always been the pathway I envisioned for myself and the AIS team have helped me to develop a new set of nursing skills. I appreciate being part of such an awesomely skilled and compassionate team!