Jodi Meacher Embraces a New Career as an ER Nurse

Jodi Meacher is the first recipient of the Mabel and Henry Doree Family Memorial Bursary with RNFBC. Jodi recently graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and is now working in the Emergency Department at Lions Gate Hospital. “I love the thrill of the unknown arriving at any time and the quick thinking required for the position.” Jodi completed her final preceptorship this past spring at the Lions Gate Emergency Department before accepting her new full time position. Jodi decided in 2008 to become a nurse and was then accepted to the UBC School of Nursing.

At that time, her first daughter was only 8 months old and she decided that was too young to leave her for a full-time program. When Jodi was unexpectedly pregnant again, she looked at the lifestyle of a nurse, the wonderful patient and family interactions and the flexibility of the profession, which made her reapply again in 2010 and enter the program in 2011. The bursary she received from RNFBC had a positive impact on Jodi’s studies and lifestyle as she has a young family. The bursary helped reduce some of the debt her family accrued while in school and while she was unable to work full-time. “My financial stress was lessened which was wonderful as I had enough stress trying to balance school with family. It really relieved some of the financial strain on my family and allowed us to get through this final year of my program.”

Jodi completed a variety of placements while completing her degree. Jodi’s first placement was at 10C, the HIV ward, at St. Paul’s Hospital. She loved this placement as patients were dealing with a multitude of issues. “Many of my patients were dealing with a lot of marginalization through being HIV positive, homosexual, homeless, addicted to drugs or other issues.” This placement led Jodi to seek a position as an employed student nurse at Insite, the supervised injection site in the downtown eastside. She was placed at Ravensong Community Health Centre where she was able to teach sexual education at high schools in Vancouver as well as lead parent/baby groups in the community. She loved this placement for the preventative focus rather than the disease-focused model in the hospital. Jodi then completed her mental health rotation at Lions Gate Hospital followed by a pediatrics placement at Sunny Hill Rehabilitation Hospital and a maternity placement at Royal Columbian Hospital. “Handling newborns and helping new parents was great; I really enjoyed teaching the new parenting class as I have a background as a La Leche League leader so this was right up my alley.” Jodi completed her surgical placement at UBC with healthy adults having hip and knee surgeries. “I was able to follow a patient through the whole process and watch the hip surgery! That was exciting.”

Jodi’s medical placement was at Vancouver General Hospital on a very busy acute floor where she gained practice with medication administration, balancing more patients and hanging IV bags. She selected community health for her clinical focus and spent six weeks at South Community Health Centre doing home care nursing. Jodi particularly enjoyed working “with palliative patients, patients with wounds and patients who were just figuring out their medications or new living situations.” When asked what she loves most about being a nurse, Jodi shares “As a nurse you are an intimate part of a family’s life in a critical time. I love being able to help immediately and being a part of their journey towards well-being. I also love that we are life-long learners and I look forward to all the courses I can take, the different departments I can work in and the flexibility of the profession.” RNFBC wishes Jodi well as she embarks on her new role as a nurse at Lions Gate Hospital.