Occupational Therapist, Yellowknife
As an Occupational Therapist for 15 years, Stephanie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her work in the Northwest Territories. Before moving to the north, Stephanie had worked with elderly clients in long term care homes and in rehabilitation units with a variety of clientele. Though it was initially an adjustment switching from specialized to generalist care, she embraced the opportunity and dove in headfirst.
“Working up here as a generalist OT has helped me to grow as a person and become better at my job!”
Originally from Montreal, Stephanie and her family moved to Yellowknife for her husband’s work with the military. She says moving north was a family decision, as they were drawn in by the close proximity to nature and the variety of outdoor activities available for the whole family.
“Living here has been great! My kids love it and they’ve made a lot of friends.”
Another draw for Stephanie to live here was the opportunity to broaden the scope of her work as a generalist, and to see the north through travel clinics to smaller communities.
“I’ve worked in Behchoko and Fort Providence. Travel clinics are a great opportunity to be immersed in the northern culture, and being exposed to that diversity is a great learning experience.”
In the two years since their move, Stephanie has rotated through out-patient and in-patient positions, and while it can sometimes feel challenging to make the switch, the intention is to give the entire team well-rounded skills and build confidence in their work, regardless of the setting.
“Our team rotates positions every year to make sure that we’re able to ‘do it all’. You need to adjust and be flexible, but ultimately it’s great because all of the OT’s are knowledgeable in multiple areas.”
In addition to her work, Stephanie joins her colleagues in regularly improving their skills and maintaining best practices. She is also a member of the Patient Safety Committee and the Territorial Wound Care Committee.
“My favourite part of working here is how friendly everyone is, and that your friends and coworkers become part of your family. I find the people here get along well, are open-minded, are willing to continue learning new things, and develop new skills.”
Stephanie and her colleague recently worked on a presentation for an education blitz at the Stanton Territorial Hospital, where they were presenting their position on the importance of the Least Restraint Policy. Being a natural leader and advocate for her clients, Stephanie is always looking for ways to continue her learning, streamlining processes, and improving care.
“I always want to make sure that we are following best practices and improving the quality of our services.”
Day to day, Stephanie is proud of the impact she has on the lives of her clients and their families.
“I’m really pleased that I get to assist my clients in achieving their goals. As occupational therapists, we want to make sure that our clients leave and are able to do the daily activities that we often take for granted. I work with my clients to minimize their challenges by providing the proper equipment and referrals to ensure they have the support they need to strive in their home environment.”
In their personal time, Stephanie and her family have been inspired by the splendour of Yellowknife and have taken every opportunity to explore what the city has to offer. Without the pain of a long commute, they have more quality time to spend together and enjoy new hobbies such as beading jewellery, berry picking, snowmobiling, camping, hunting, and fishing. All in all, she says that living in a place like Yellowknife with two young kids has been a deeply enriching experience.
“We decided that, if we’re going to live here, we’re going to jump in and enjoy it all! Up here, you have to embrace the northern lifestyle. You can’t stay inside your home because there’s just so much to do.”