UBC Nursing students supporting setting up of BC Women’s Provincial Milk Bank in Richmond


Donated milk is essential to the care and healing of premature and very sick babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). For over 40 years, the BC Women’s Provincial Milk Bank has been accepting breast milk donations for use with their tiniest and most vulnerable patients. Demand regularly outpaces the supply, and they are always eager for new donors.

However, donating was challenging for many families as the only way to donate was to drop off breast milk in person to BC Women’s directly. To make it more convenient for those who wished to donate, Vancouver Coastal Health opened several breast milk depots around the Lower Mainland in the summer of 2016, including one at the Richmond Health Unit. (http://www.vch.ca/locations-and-services/find-health-services/?program_id=14973) Thanks to the opening of the Richmond Breast Milk Depot, donating breast milk became easier and more convenient than ever.


But how to spread the word? To coincide with World Breastfeeding Week, UBC Nursing students worked with Richmond  Public Health Unit staff and BCIT students on a social marketing campaign to highlight the importance of breastfeeding and to promote the milk depot. Students designed posters for distribution, designed display boards for public high traffic areas, and produced information packages for local physicians and pharmacies promoting the milk depot. By participating in this project, students learned to apply principles of health teaching and social marketing, taking into consideration the variety of people they wanted to reach.


The work paid off. The Richmond Breast Milk Depot is now the largest recipient of breast milk in the Lower Mainland!

Homeless Connect

Homeless Connect 20160519_110605d.

Our students participated today at the Homeless Connect event in the DTES. Our station was extremely popular, we must have connected with at least 40 people. Lots of blood pressure checks and CanRisk screening for diabetes. Our stress balls made of balloons and rice were extremely popular, they were all gone within 1/2 hour. I saw one agitated woman sitting with it in her hand using it to calm herself. Lots of relationships built with other service providers in the area, many requests received for our students to participate in other events/activities in the surrounding area.

Recommendations to improve relational practice in health care teams: a student perspective

UBC Nursing students highlight recommended practices in improving relational practice amongst health care teams in community settings. This video was created as a course assigment in N338 (Relational Inquiry) under Dr. Helen Brown, course leader.

Credits: Caitlin Butler, Maria Coelho, Sammi Borgstrom, Jessica Ardley, Natassia Chin

UBC N336 Nursing Students participate in a world event: The Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge

By Ranjit Kaur Dhari (1), Joanne Ricci (2) & Alysha McFadden (3)
(1) Lecturer,  N336 Course Leader
(2) Senior Instructor, N427 Course Leader
(3) Clinical Associate,  Evergreen Community Health Center.

Each year the Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge takes place around the world. “This fun event is a challenge for which geographic area (province, state or territory) has the most breastfeeding babies, as a percentage of the birthrate, “latched on” at 11am local time. To celebrate breastfeeding and milk-banking, and demonstrate promotion, protection and support for breastfeeding women and their families. It’s a chance for education and peer support done in a fun social way.” (http://www.babyfriendly.ca/general-information.aspx) This year’s theme emphasized the need for good, ongoing support from partners, families and health care professionals to help women be successful when choosing to breastfeed their babies.




UBC SON students June Chan & Kyle Lescisin (along with BCIT nursing students) were instrumental in the planning and implementation of this event in Richmond Community with Richmond Public Health Nurses. The goal of all displays, games and fun was to promote, support and protect breastfeeding. June and Kyle managed a resource table where they provided health information to build capacity of families.

7xsoNVlq7BVwP50ErrX-76jB4tVnYlQouLfu0UhFBbw,XaueYVJ-VrHByB-mEZf3Ru3O1gGpWvNGv4JPOzXdnfABy participating in this event students learnt about the socio cultural determinants of breastfeeding, the public barriers that exist for breastfeeding families. Students also had the opportunity to practice knowledge gained from their Relational Practice thread courses by establishing rapport and communicating with families from many different culture.

In photo: UBC Nursing students-  Marina (Juana) Cornejo Chavez, Jenessa Dilley, and Lorelei Arteaga.

UGM expresses appreciation to N336 students for foot soaks

Dennis Kim  Outreach Worker,  Hastings Chaplaincy & Outreach, writes:

“I think that it went great for everyone involved especially our community guests who come to UGM. Thank you for being full of smiles, open to rolling with things, and helping people out one individual at a time based on their concerns and needs. I personally look forward to having your group come out again! Thanks again!”



Linking Course content to Clinical Practice: UBC Nursing Students in partnership with Union Gospel Mission

By Ranjit Kaur Dhari (1), Joanne Ricci (2) & Alysha McFadden (3)
(1) Lecturer,  N336 Course Leader
(2) Senior Instructor, N427 Course Leader
(3) Clinical Associate,  Evergreen Community Health Center.

UBC nursing students spend part of a day twice in a 6 week rotation at the Union Gospel Mission (UGM) where they provide foot assessments and build rapport with residents in the downtown Eastside. The students also get a tour of the UGM and learn about the unique programs the UGM provides as well as the history of the downtown Eastside. This experience highlights to students the importance of understanding how history impacts the social determinants of health for individuals, families, and populations who live in the downtown Eastside, while also allowing clients themselves to tell their own unique stories.20151106_134123

Prior to them being in this clinical setting student are prepared with classroom lecture with content on outreach nursing and in particular working in the DTES. They are shown the film “Bevel Up” filmed in Vancouver Downtown eastside where it follows nurses working with vulnerable populations on the streets. Their knowledge from Relational practice thread courses is further reinforced with discussions on collaborative relationships with clients, communication with challenging clients and setting boundaries and keeping oneself safe.

All nursing practice is grounded theory, hence learning about Outreach from the Minnesota Wheel of intervention as a model for practice in Public Health in our baccalaureate program is used in this unique setting. Follow-up from the foot soak in often brought back into the classroom in the way of discussion as various other interventions of the wheel are used to analyze the often complex clients that the students work with at the UGM foot soak clinic.

For many students, who are not from the Vancouver area or have not ever experienced this kind of marginalized population with many determinants of health affecting this population group- the experience is powerful to say the least. These students have the opportunity to debrief not only after the foot soaks session with the clinical nursing instructor but the following week in the classroom and via their personal journal if they wish which is required at various times throughout the 6 week rotation.

The experience and partnership have proven to be a win -win situation for all. The students are learning about living with adversity and engaging in many ways with this populations lived experience as the clients are receiving an ear to listen, health promotion counseling on a variety of topics such as nutrition, medication compliance and are receiving a warming foot soak, massage and a clean dry pair of socks.