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National Nursing Week Profile: Deb Melvin

Reflecting on the importance of relationship building

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We should all be so lucky to receive care from a nurse who views their job as a ‘privilege,’ and this is exactly how Deb Melvin, Home Care LPN, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) Nursing Department views her work.  Deb’s passion for caring for people started at a young age when she worked as Nurse’s Aide at the Jubilee Hospital in Victoria in 1980, for a few years. This formative experience inspired her to get back into the field she loves.

Deb is a member of the Metlakatla First Nation on her dad’s side and her mom is from the Prairies. She completed the Practical Nursing Program from at North Island College in 2007 and has been working with NTC since March 2008. Deb is currently living and working out of Port Alberni on Vancouver Island.
No two days are alike for Deb, which she describes as “one of the perks.”

“I currently support clients in six communities and travel out of town one to three days per week,” explains Deb. “I see clients for chronic disease management, foot care, pre and post-op support, health/home assessments, advocacy and a myriad of other services,” says Deb.

Establishing and building relationships with these clients is the driving force of Deb’s work, and the important aspect she views as a “privilege.”

“Being able to take the time to sit with the Elders and listen to their stories is one of the best and unique aspects of my job,” reflects Deb. “It’s always a great feeling to walk into a home and hear ‘we missed you!’”

Deb recognizes the importance of keeping herself mentally and spiritually well in order to provide the best care she can to her clients.

“It is very important to have a support team for our nurses. Connecting with and having close relationships with my co-workers and supervisors, to be able to check in and de-brief, helps myself and my team to remain mentally and spiritually strong,” says Deb.

In her spare time, Deb keeps well by spending time with her family and dog. She appreciates the amazing place in which she lives and enjoys spending time outside.

Deb is proud to work within NTC’s First Nation and will continue to respect and honour her clients and co-workers journeys.

Thank you, Deb for all of your hard work!

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Deb often uses her car as an office to chart when in community, where offices are not always available - this time she was visited by furry friend!

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