Travel nurses are an important part of the health care team because they help bridge the gap between SUPPLY and DEMAND in difficult to recruit areas. While working as a travel nurse is definitely not for everyone, it can be the adventure of a lifetime for some. It’s all about balance!
Kimberly Kidson: “Nursing is nursing, people are people, trust your practice and you can do this!”
Guest Kimberly, LPN, Co-owner/Director of Sympatico Medical Solutions Inc.
Kimberly wrote her biography from Kitimat in the Haisla Nation of British Columbia. She is a long-term visitor of the Shuswap and Heiltsuk Nations and would like to thank the people of all Indigenous Nations for allowing her to share her work.
In 2014, Kimberly graduated from Sprott Shaw Kamloops campus, after completing the accelerated LPN program in 18 months. She has worked in various clinical settings including large urban hospitals, home and community care, she has taught practical nursing as a Clinical Instructor and travelled to small isolated communities.
After receiving her interim LPN license, Kimberly first started working at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) in Kamloops B.C. on 7North (cardiac/renal medical). She received amazing support and gained invaluable experience from the nurses, allowing her to work casually on surgical wards before accepting a full-time temporary line in the RIH LPN float pool. The float pool was Kimberly’s favourite position at RIH as everyday was a new day, a new ward, new patients and different co-workers. This is the position in which Kimberly felt she most thrived. While working at RIH she completed Code White Advanced Team Response Training, Cultural Sensitivity Education, Wound Care as well as Palliative Care education to enhance her professional nursing standards and practice. She utilized the judgement and experience that she had gained from RIH along with her passion for education and began teaching as a Clinical Instructor for Sprott Shaw College. Helping guide new practical nurses and setting expectations for excellence in care, seeing the desire that her students had for learning and developing their nursing practice gave her tremendous satisfaction. Together, these experiences prepared her for something much larger.
Three years ago, she was introduced to “travel nursing” and wondered if this was something that she would qualify for. To her delight, it was! Travel Nursing opened up so many doors and gave her a desire to see more, do more, learn more, and to be excited about her work. At first, she was intimidated but just told herself, “Nursing is nursing, people are people, trust your practice and you can do this”. So, she did it, and loved it. She originally followed her passion for travel nursing in order to see the country and be paid along her journey, but soon realized the experience was more about the people she was meeting and the things she was learning along the way.
While travel nursing, Kimberly completed various contracts, one of her favourite locations being Bella Bella, British Columbia working with the Heiltsuk People in the Heiltsuk Nation. The locals proudly proclaim: “Bella Bella, a place so nice they named it twice”. Nestled in the Central Coast's inner shores of Campbell Island, Bella Bella is a small remote Indigenous community known for fishing as their main industry. Bella Bella is isolated and has a weekly ferry service and charter flights to Vancouver. This quaint beautiful community provides healthcare through a local hospital to the community of 1400 people. R.W. Large Memorial Hospital is small but equipped with Acute Care, Long-term Care, ER and a Trauma Room which is used to stabilize critical patients prior to transferring them to a higher level of care in Vancouver. Nursing coverage is minimal and at times this means “all hands on deck”; this is where Kimberly has met some of the most amazing nurses and witnessed the most efficient care being delivered in the most critical situations. It was here that Kimberly found her passion for travel nursing began and where she was inspired to start Sympatico Medical Solutions Inc.
Sympatico Medical Solutions Inc. is a Staffing Agency for travel nurses and allied healthcare professionals. The agency finds temporary and long-term placements for RNs, RPNs, LPNs, ultrasound, lab, X-Ray, MRI and radiology technicians. Travel nursing has existed in Canada for the past 30 years but has become more highly sought in the last decade. Most recently, the impact of the pandemic on remote communities has exacerbated the need of healthcare support. Travel nursing includes flexible schedule and vacation times, with wages based on demand and experience. At Sympatico Med, the leadership are Nurses too; they encourage nurses to live their best lives.
As Co-owner/Director of Sympatico Medical Solutions, Kimberly and her business partner worked to acquire all the necessary operational permits and insurance as well as established professional connections with Provincial Health Authorities including: Northern Health, Interior Health, Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, First Nations Health Authority, the BC Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, Reconciliation, and Aboriginal Health. They currently have active contracts in Northern Health Authority and are negotiating with other Provincial Health Authorities in BC. Sympatico Medical Solutions is incorporated in all Provinces and Territories and is looking to expand services to the Northwest Territories and East across Canada. Kimberly’s time is spent hiring team members, reviewing and debriefing with employees, assisting with travel and accommodation arrangements as well as finding employee placements and creating assignment agreements with hiring institutions.
As BCs Indigenous majority owned Travel Nurse Agency, Sympatico Medical Solutions has a particular eye on cultural awareness and sensitivity in nursing practice. They advocate, and are recognized for quality nursing care across all levels of healthcare. Travel nursing offers UNLIMITED opportunities, professional development, paid travel and accommodation as well as opportunities to make new and lasting friendships. Kimberly is most excited to share her love of travel nursing and travel healthcare to other like-minded healthcare professionals.
Sympatico Medical Solutions Inc.: https://www.sympaticomed.ca/
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