A Day in the Life – Meet NP Kathy Hardill
November 08th, 2015
“My role as a primary care NP involves working in a clinic specializing in the care of marginalized people”
As a primary care NP working in a clinic specializing in the care of marginalized people, I scan the neighbourhood in the morning on my way in, I am looking for a patient who is homeless and seven months’ pregnant. She needs some repeat blood work and missed her last obstetrician appointment. My hope is to bring her inside, give her a nutrition bar and warm socks, draw her blood and link her with one of our mental health workers to support her to navigate through the mystifying and often intimidating affordable housing system.
Later on in the morning, I treat a young woman who uses IV opiates for an injection site abscess. I give her a prescription for antibiotics, show her how to inject more safely and encourage her to sign up for overdose prevention training. A man with unstable congested heart failure (CHF) comes in with acute pulmonary edema and I facilitate his transfer to the Emergency Room. A woman with a history of psychosis tells me she has “crustaceans” in her urine. A quick test suggests acute cystitis which I treat. I support a new adolescent mom to breastfeed and give her bus tickets to get to the food bank so she too can eat. This afternoon our Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic (NPLC) is running a healthy eating/exercise class for patients on mental health medications which can cause weight gain. I’ll pop in to say hello to the group and then brainstorm with the social workers about ways to promote our “income security health promotion” workshop with our community partners. I’ll see a few more patients and end the day meeting with local nursing faculty discussing how to bring to life nursing’s responsibilities regarding the social determinants of health to undergraduate nurses. Although I spend most days way, way downstream, I take every opportunity I can to go upstream to devise strategies to prevent people falling into the river of illness and injury.
BScN from U of T in 1987.
PHC NP course at Ryerson in 1996.
Currently completing MScN at York.
One of the first street nurses in Canada in 1988 at the first nurse-led primary care clinic in Ontario (Street Health).
A founding member of Health Providers Against Poverty (2005).
Clinical Director/Lead NP at the VON 360 NPLC in Peterborough, ON