Congratulations to the staff at the Fort St. James Opt clinic for being our January 2013 Clinic of the Month!
For the first Clinic of the Month of 2013, we’re highlighting our newly opened clinic in Fort St. James, and we're excited to welcome them to the Opt team! The Fort St. James clinic is a partnership between Opt and the Northern Health Authority (NHA). Although the Opt clinic has just opened, the Fort St. James clinic will be staffed by nurses who have worked in the community for many years, and are now able to provide access to contraceptive options at their clinic. Opening day for the clinic was January 8, 2013.
The Fort St. James Opt clinic requires that you make an appointment. Drop-ins are based on nurse availability. Birth Control clinics are by appointment on the 3rd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of the month from 1-4pm for youth 25 years and under. To make an appointment, call 250-996-7178 ext 1.
The Fort St. James Clinic staff includes one and a half nurses, and one admin staff. Although the clinic doesn’t have a physician, the staff at the clinic works closely with the physicians in the area.
We asked Ardis, one of the nurses at the clinic, to tell us about her experience so far:
1. How did you get involved with the Opt clinic and what made you want to work here (and in sexual health)?
Ardis: We have been doing sexual health clinics for many years and adding birth control was just a natural progression for our communities. A research project done by University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) a couple years ago, “Youth’s perspectives on birth control in Fort St. James B.C., community youth report” identified a real need to have other avenues for youth to access sexual health counselling and birth control options in our communities. We also have a long term severe shortage of physicians in our area. Support from Northern Health with training and orientation to the Opt program has given us the opportunity to become an Opt clinic and support the community.
2. What is one thing you have learned that you would like to share since starting with the Clinic?
Ardis: There is a lot to remember in a clinic, and the contraceptive management portion to us is new. Clients are very patient with us as we begin to incorporate this new piece into our clinics!
3. Who inspires you?
Ardis: Community members who advocate for the rights of all women, clients who are appreciative of the service we provide the amazing members of our team, and the NHA Prince George Health Unit Opt nurses.
4. What are two words that describe the clients you have met at the Clinic?
Ardis: Appreciative, receptive, fun and chatty.
5. What is one thing that is unique about your clinic?
Ardis: This is only one piece of all that we do in a generalist practice in preventive public health. We work well in partnership with other resources and with the First Nations communities. We are one block from the high school and alternate education classes are in the same building. We do not have a physician on staff, but the physicians are very supportive of the work we do and historically we have had an excellent working relationship with them.
Opt is happy to celebrate the opening of a new clinic, and all of the hard work these wonderful folks have put in to it! Congratulations to Fort St. James! Check back next month to see who the February Clinic of the Month will be!