Each Wednesday until the end of March, the Gazette is presenting a three-part Q&A series with leaders from the different units at the Student Health and Counselling Centre.
This week, meet registered nurse Missy Power of the Physician and Nursing unit, who has worked in student health for 22 years.
RR: What is your role at the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre?
MP: I am the medical lead for the centre.
The medical stream encompasses the work of medical professionals in the centre, including front desk assistants, nurses, physicians and medical specialists.
As the lead, I co-ordinate, recruit and manage the medical professionals in the clinic, along with providing service.
RR: What are some misconceptions you’ve heard about services in your unit?
MP: The biggest one recently is that we have been shut down during the COVID.
Since the beginning of the global pandemic, we have not closed. All of our services have continued virtually. We are still open for students online and in person, if needed.
Another misconception is that you have to pay to see a physician here.
Physician services at the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre are generally covered by your provincial health insurance or private insurance, such as the international student insurance.
RR: What are the top three things people should know about your team at the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre?
MP: We are open! We have six family doctors, two nurses, a pediatrician and a consulting psychiatrist all busy working behind the scenes, even during the pandemic.
We see spouses and common law partners, children of students and students of the Centre for Nursing Studies and College of the North Atlantic.
We provide some travel vaccinations for students, staff and faculty. These vaccines are limited to Twinrix and Dukoral, as well as vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and B and typhoid. These are the vaccines you typically need to take for your sunny vacations.
RR: How have services/resources changed in your unit due to the pandemic?
MP: We have actually expanded services, allowing us to reach our students all over Newfoundland and Labrador.
Virtual care allows our services to be accessed from any phone or computer in the province.
We still see some students in person and most of the nursing visits are in-person, but based on what is allowed under our provincial alert levels.
RR: How have you cared for your mental health during the pandemic? Any advice for students?
MP: I have cared for my mental health by staying busy and thinking positive.
Public health is my passion, which makes my work here at the centre very busy and engaging.
At home, I have taken the opportunity to finish projects that I never have time to do (the junk drawers have finally been cleared out!).
I encourage students to stay positive. This is only temporary. We will be together again, but we have to be patient.
Do what you need to do to get through this: lighten your course load, binge watch Netflix or even cut your bangs, just do it.
They will grow back, you can pick up an extra course along the way, you will catch up and this will soon be behind us.
Stay strong and stay positive.
Missy Power is a registered nurse who hold a bachelor of nursing degree and a master of public health degree.