Spotlight on Seniors Health: Nurse Practitioner Faye Lazar
Author: Merissa May, NP
Faye completed her initial RN program in Windsor, Ontario at the Salvation Army Grace Hospital School of Nursing. This was followed by a Diploma in Public Health Nursing from the University of Windsor and initial employment at the Salvation Army Grace Hospital. She then moved from Ontario to Regina and obtained her BScN in Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan. Not yet fulfilling her zest for education she undertook her Masters of Science in Nursing from Bismark, North Dakota and finally her Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Calgary in 2002. She is currently employed with Alberta Health Services in an Integrative and Supportive Facility Living Program.
What was your inspiration for becoming an NP?
Nursing was always an interest to me and has been an ever evolving career from clinical bedside nurse in the critical care units to Educator to Manager, followed by Director of Care for the areas of the OR, Intensive Care/Cardiac Care Units, and Emergency.
After completing my Masters of Science in Nursing I had the interest to return to clinical practice and took a Clinical Nurse Specialist position with Cardiac Surgery. After a short time here, my interest was piqued to pursue a Nurse Practitioner program. My initial NP practice area was with Cardiac Surgery at Foothills Medical Centre for nine years. During this time the care of the elderly client posed many different challenges, so I pursued the opportunity to practice in seniors health. This led to my current role in Integrative and Supportive Facility Living with AHS and the experience of community based practice.
Briefly describe what your typical day looks like.
As an Alberta Health Services employee, I cover three Supportive Living Sites. Each day is different, but generally a weekly client care round occurs and these rounds establish the priorities and needs of the clients. Subsequently, I make the necessary visits to the client for assessment, diagnosis and treatments, and follow up as needed. I am able to meet the needs of Clients in Supportive Living through working with a multi-disciplinary team consisting of RN Case Managers, Nutritionists, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Wound Care Specialists, Social Worker, and Pharmacist who can providing support to these sites. This team approach is all encompassing to enhance care and meet the needs of clients while they remain in their homes. Also as part of this role I have obtained my designation as a Capacity Assessor through the Ministry of Justice to complete Capacity Assessments as required.
What do you feel is unique to the NP role in your current area of practice?
The uniqueness of the NP role is working to full scope of practice in the community setting of the client’s home.
What do you feel is the biggest impact of the NP role in your practice setting?
NPs were introduced into ISFL starting in 2009.The biggest impact is the support we provide to clients in their homes and to decrease transfers to the emergency department. This impact is supported statistically by a significant decrease in numbers of transfers to Emergency when Nurse Practitioners are on site and on call in our program. The Nurse Practitioner role in Supportive Living also supports the client and family with end of life and palliative care.
Are you involved in any non-clinical work or research?
Yes, I’m involved with a COPD/CHF Project in progress to develop an evidenced based pathway. These are two conditions that continue to cause high numbers of transfers to the ER. This project will assist with additional resources to support the team in the management of COPD/CHF for the population in ISFL to further reduce the transfers to Emergency. It’s great to have NP involvement with this pathway as these are conditions we frequently manage in the program.
How can the NPAA support NPs working in your practice area?
NPAA is very supportive of the NP role in seniors’ health and our practice through the support, leadership and advancement of the role through lobbying for legislation changes, meeting with policy makers and creating a very unified approach to this. They are working to decrease red tape surrounding long-term care ordering and signing of death certificates.
Interested in working in Senior’s Health? Check out these current Job Postings:
The Manor Village, Calgary
Nurse Practitioner (NP) – Full-Time permanent
Manor Village is seeking an experienced Nurse Practitioner (NP) with a passion for Seniors Health and palliative care.
Alberta Health Services, Edmonton
Nurse Practitioner, Full time permanent
The Facility Living Program and Supporting Living Program (FSL) is looking for a Nurse Practitioner (NP) to join their team of professionals and inter-sectoral partners. New NP graduates with experience in acute, primary, or community based care settings are encouraged to apply.