What Do They Do?: Barbara Webster

This "What Do They Do?" we profile Barbara Webster, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Maternal and Child Health. Barbara has come to FNHA after working with UBC as a clinical teacher in Maternal Child Health and also spent a number of years working with the Mohawk Nation in Quebec.


What do you do on any given day?

My role is to be the "link" to nurses practicing in BC First Nations communities in relation to all aspects of Maternal Child Health. As some of the nurses are new to FNHA and to community, I assist them by clarifying roles and responsibilities; work to ensure proper documentation and records are kept; view and discuss infant assessments; provide information about other health related services; and work to achieve the following goals:


1. To normalize the birthing process 

2. To support BC baby friendly initiatives around breastfeeding

3. To bring birthing back to community


I also represent the FNHA internally and externally and bring evidence-based research into practice and work to develop tools to assist nurses in their work and ensure that education and training levels are current and up to date.


What is one of the strangest aspects of your job?

Well, this week I have been teaching people how to knit breasts! The breasts are knitted and form part of a kit that will go to community to assist in teaching the subtleties and art of breastfeeding, including latching on and proper breast healthcare. As part of the upcoming Nurses Forum in November and December, we will introduce this kit as an activity and a way to gather Elders and moms to discuss and to support a return to breastfeeding as a healthy choice for newborns.


What do you like about working with FNHA?

I love being in the capacity to help and work with nurses. I love the energy and the traditions and being able to teach and be in community. Having a holistic perspective on wellness and the connectedness to the land is such a positive way of looking at life.