Being a nurse in the endoscopy unit at the University of Alberta Hospital means doing a lot of different things. In the unit we do gastroscopy, colonoscopies, bronchoscopies, feeding tubes. People come to us when their kids swallow quarters.
You know as a health region Edmonton is pretty large. People from the Northwest Territories (NWT) will come down here for care. In 2008, I was part of a special project team that went up to Aklavik, NWT, do biopsies in a small community that had a high incidence of stomach cancer. That opportunity was given to me specifically because I work in health care in Edmonton. We did the biopsies to figure out how to tailor the care to each individual, and also to figure out what was causing the cancer. That part is still being researched.
The community hugs the shore of the Mackenzie River Delta and is very isolated. We had to drive in on an ice road and food was extremely expensive. But it was a great experience and I’d do it again if I got the opportunity.
The most rewarding part of the NWT experience and of my work at the hospital is helping people who’re quite ill. If we’re able to send someone home after they’ve been quite ill, that’s a really good feeling.
Cinnamin Landhaüsser is a registered nurse who works at the University of Alberta Hospital. She enjoys the opportunities afforded to her as a health care professional in Edmonton.