Meet Graham McLean, a nurse practitioner with the Maple Ridge Mental Health and Substance Use program, who says a core part of his job is simply building trust with vulnerable clients who are homeless.
Meet Graham McLean, Nurse Practitioner, Maple Ridge Mental Health and Substance Use program.
“As a kid, I read my parents’ encyclopedias and was interested in the body, so I went to UBC to become a nurse. I worked with a Downtown Eastside primary care team that did outreach to people in Single Room Occupancy housing and shelters. I completed the Nurse Practitioner program in 2016 and now I care for vulnerable and street-entrenched people in Maple Ridge out in the community, at shelters, in camps and in collaboration with the Intensive Case Management team.
Primary care is complicated by people’s social situations. I had a patient who needed a hospital procedure, but she couldn’t afford bus fare. I treat infections, hypertension, diabetes, and work on illness and injury prevention, but if you don’t know where you’re going to sleep, you’re not thinking about cancer in 10 years. This role lets me spend time with people to build trust. I like variety. Even harking back to that kid with the anatomy book, I remember thinking there was more to health than that narrow slice.
Outside of work, I go for walks with my family in Port Moody; I like to run and completed a half-marathon. I’m getting into playing acoustic blues guitar and I love baking bread – sourdough, pizza dough – if there’s a family gathering, I’m bringing the olive loaf."
- Graham McLean, Nurse Practitioner, Maple Ridge Mental Health and Substance Use Program
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