In her role, she does a little bit of everything, and her extensive portfolio includes responsibilities such as communicable disease management, maternal child care, school health nursing, sexual health management, and she's completed her Registered Nurse prescribing training.
“The main idea for a public health nurse in a First Nations community is injury and disease prevention and health promotion," Amber explains. “Those are the overarching goals of my work, supporting people in health education and in living the healthiest lives they can possibly live."
As she sees it, to “answer the call" means “to step up when you see the work that needs to be done, not being afraid to start, and advocating for the community's needs." Although the concurrent COVID-19 pandemic and opioid overdose crisis have posed numerous challenges, Amber and her team have worked to bring together a program that successfully manages, supports, and prevents COVID-19 transmission rates in the community. She also oversees the Band's harm reduction program, and is in the midst of preparing the necessary components to provide an Opioid agonist therapy (OAT) program.
“It's really great seeing what the community needs and putting it together so that we can provide it, and not being afraid to take on these new things means that we can produce wonderful outcomes for the community's health as a team. Because it's not just me, but my whole team that has produced all of these things."
Her favourite part of the work has been the engagement and community building with her clients. In a First Nations community there is an opportunity to build relationships through continuous care. Amber shares the example of maternity care, wherein she supports mothers from their pre-natal care until the children receive their kindergarten immunizations, where she then sees them in school.
Recently, she's also enjoyed the opportunity to work with a Licensed Practical Nurse who has joined her team.
“I love being able to provide mentorship and see her passion for her work. You can see her building these relationships in the community too, and it's really great to see such wonderful nurses have such an interest in this work and come forward to say they want to be a part of this."