A student’s insights on the 2017 BC Quality Forum- Maryam Koochek


Left to right: Dr. Maura MacPhee, Ranjit Dhari, Maryam Koochek and Rebecca Anthony. (Photo by Khristine Carino.)

The BC Patient Safety and Quality Council holds a Quality Forum once a year to showcase quality projects that are benefiting our patients and to raise awareness of initiatives that are being implemented to meet the demand for quality improvement. At this year’s event, the objectives were to:

Ignite action to improve quality of care for patients and providers;

Create and strengthen connections and collaborations across all areas of care; and

Share effective strategies and leading practices to stimulate and sustain improvement

These objectives were met through inspirational plenary presentations, from important figures in the healthcare community including the current provincial minister of health, Mr. Terry Lake; various interactive workshops, rapid fire presentations and field trips to organizations that are known for having complex operations such as the Port of Vancouver.  The diversity in the mode of delivery and the topics discussed ensured that every attendee had plenty of opportunity to attend and learn about their area of interest.

Given my interest in community nursing and working with marginalized populations, I attended workshops on team-based care in the community, trauma informed practice, cultural safety and responding to a public health emergency: the opioid crisis in BC just to name a few. This last session struck me as especially inclusive of all the players in this crisis. There were three speakers, each with their own unique place within the crisis response management. The session began with Laura Shaver, the president of Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU). Laura is a recovering heroin user who is currently on the methadone program and has been witness to the devastating loss of life that has resulted from illicit fentanyl on the streets. She is a powerful advocate for her community and having her at the session gave us a glimpse of the lived experience of those who are closest to the crisis. Dr. Christy Sutherland is the medical director of PHS community services society and she gave the audience an account of the daily challenges and the on the ground response from her team including setting up Naloxone tents in alleyways and working around the clock to meet the demands of this crisis. The third speaker was Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Deputy Provincial Health Officer for BC. She gave the audience an overview of what is being done at the provincial and federal levels to manage the crisis including working with Health Canada to open more safe injection sites; working with the the Border Agency to curb the entry of these substances from abroad and working with local agencies to put more resources in place.

I concluded the Quality Forum by presenting the student IHI I-CAN Quality Improvement Project with my colleague Rebecca Anthony. The presentation was very well received and showcased the amazing work of UBC students and our ever supportive faculty.

Attending the forum was inspiring and motivational and I would recommend every nurse to attend it. One of the lessons I took away from attending the forum is how well our program has prepared us for practice. I sat with nurse managers who had never heard of trauma informed practice or cultural competence. I feel that as soon to be graduating nurses, those fundamentally important concepts are forever embedded in our cells and that is partially due to the education and awareness we have received over the course of our training.

UBC Nursing students provide Diabetes education to UGM staff


The Union Gospel Mission (UGM) provides meals, shelter, and substance recovery services to people living in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) every day.

To better serve their guests, UGM requested training from the UBC School of Nursing on how to manage hypoglycemia in guests who have diabetes. For our N344 Synthesis Project, a team of students (Rebecca Burns, Brittany Kliment, Katelyn Newell, and Shelby Slater) developed a training module, hypoglycemia kits, and a foot care poster, the latter to be used during foot soak clinics. The module provides an overview of diabetes, common diabetic complications, signs and symptoms of hyper- and hypoglycemia, and a protocol for managing hypoglycemic episodes. Our team also prepared hypoglycemia kits for UGM that each include a copy of the four-step hypoglycemia protocol, as well as a bottle of Dex4 glucose tablets. Finally, we created a foot care poster that includes tips that are applicable to all UGM guests, particularly those with diabetes.

On February 9th we presented our final products to UGM staff and discussed how they could be implemented. UGM plans to include the diabetes module on their internal website and as part of staff training. They also plan to share the module and hypoglycemia protocol with the UGM location in New Westminster, as well as with select other organizations working in the DTES. This project helped to fill a knowledge gap at UGM and gave staff the information they need to better serve guests experiencing hypoglycemia.