Educated For Such a Time as This

Laura Colley (’17) is a Clinical Practice Consultant for Fraser Health Authority. Like much of the world, she has been required to work from home for the last several weeks, but that doesn’t mean things have been any easier for her.

At the beginning of the day, her calendar is mostly empty. But because things with COVID-19 are constantly developing, she says her schedule quickly fills up with one meeting after another from 8 am onward.

“I’m so busy that I don’t have time to analyze how I’m doing,” says Laura of her daily work schedule the last few weeks. COVID-19 issues have dominated, but she still has her regular responsibilities to manage.

“I’ve been helping create some recommendations around how to best utilize nursing staff, to make sure nurses are working within their competency levels, and keeping patients safe,” says Laura. “Part of my job is to take a step back and to maximize and ensure professional standards are being met, especially in times of crisis.”

With a background in Critical care, Laura says she is used to working in high stress environments. In fact, this isn’t the first time she’s dealt with a pandemic situation. Laura was a nurse in the ICU during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, so she has seen and experienced a lot.

Education and Career Growth

Laura studied nursing at UBC and worked for almost 15 years as an ICU nurse. She then earned her Master’s Degree in Nursing Education at Trinity Western while continuing to work for Fraser Health.

“I chose Trinity Western because the nursing school has an excellent reputation and has incredible scholars,” says Laura. “There was an online option, which was really helpful to me being a full-time employee. I also have great respect for the professor engagement with students. I’ve heard from people who did their Master’s at other schools and they never got any interactions with their professors. That wasn’t my experience at all at TWU.”

After graduating from Trinity Western, Laura moved into her current role as a Clinical Practice Consultant.

“I was working in professional practice in a different role, then moved into this consultant role which has evolved over the past two and a half years,” says Laura. “It’s evolved into more responsibility and opportunities as I’ve worked under a few different leaders.”

Laura loves what she is doing, but she looks forward to one day of being a leader in health care and having her own team. Thankfully, she has been able to grow and hone her leadership skills over the last several years, including the opportunity to teach organizational leadership part-time for the BA Leadership program at Trinity Western.

Dealing with COVID-19

Laura says she and her colleagues were aware of the COVID-19 situation as it developed around the world and have been preparing for all kinds of situations.

“We were aware that things could change pretty rapidly,” says Laura. “Italy is tragic, but we are very fortunate that we’ve been able to watch what’s happened there. We have exceptional provincial leadership for public health.”

Although she admits it can be frustrating to have to stay at home, Laura reiterates that this really is the best thing anyone can do right now.

“The most loving thing we can do for each-other is to stay away,” says Laura, adding that we are really fortunate to be living in a time and place where we have technological opportunities to still connect. As someone who lives alone herself, she knows how difficult it can be to not go out and interact with friends and family.

“It will be interesting to see three-six months from now what’s been revealed in us. Can we honesty answer that we did everything we could to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem?” Laura asks.

Right now, Laura’s work has required her to visit local hospitals and sit on a few virtual town hall panels while working on strategies and policies. But she knows that with her background in Critical care, there is a chance she could get called in to work in the hospital as a nurse again.

“I’m not afraid,” says Laura, who affirms that she knows God is in control and that He has prepared her for whatever comes next. “I talk to my mom a lot. She grew up in England during World War 2. As cheesy as it sounds, we are going to be okay. We will at some point be on the other side of this and we’ll be okay.”

Whatever comes next, Laura is confident that God is in control and that there is nothing to fear.

“The Lord knows what He’s doing and we can trust in that,” she says.