Nurse practitioner joining Falher Medical Clinic

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The Falher Medical Clinic is pleased to welcome nurse practitioner Stephanie Barker to its team.

Barker, who previously worked in the Northwest Territories, begins work Jan. 11 and brings many qualifications and services to the region.

Originally from Newfoundland, Barker grew up playing hockey with her twin brother.

“I started my nursing career after completing a Chemistry degree and felt a calling in that direction,” she says.

She completed her nursing degree in 2009, then started work in the emergency department in St. John’s, Newfoundland before applying for jobs in the Northwest Territories.

“Don’t ask why, I just felt like it was something I wanted to do.”

After six months of applications, she received a job in Behchoko, NWT at a local health centre.

“I enjoyed every minute of living and working in the north.”

Two years later, she met her husband.

“We stayed in the north another five years, had our first two girls there, and then in 2017 moved to St. Albert, Alberta and had our third child, John.

While working as a nurse in the north, she felt the need to know more.

“I decided to go back to school and completed my masters of nursing and family all ages nurse practitioner.”

Her first job as a nurse practitioner was at the primary care clinic in Yellowknife. After moving to St. Albert and having her third child she started work in a dermatology speciality field. After about a year in that area, she moved back into primary care at a local family practice.

“My dermatology experience has helped a lot with my primary care work,” she says.

Turns out it is her passion.

“I throughly enjoy working in primary care. I love living and working in a community and providing quality health care, meeting people, getting to know people and families. I am passionate about all folks having access to healthcare no matter where you live.”

In late October, the family relocated to McLennan from St. Albert and have very much enjoyed getting to know the community and surrounding area.

“I am so excited to be given the opportunity to work in the Falher clinic,” she says.

When not working as a family, they enjoy time outside, playing games, and pretty much anything that they can all do together.

The Falher Medical Clinic appreciates all the support from the Town of Falher and the M.D. of Smoky River.

“Without their help this truly wouldn’t have been possible,” reads a statement released by the clinic.

The Falher Medical Clinic re-opened Jan. 4 and is now accepting appointments. Please call [780] 837-2275.

What is a nurse practitioner? [from Alberta Health Services website]

Nurse Practitioners [NPs] are registered nurses [RNs] with graduate degrees and advanced knowledge and skills. They are trained to assess, diagnose, treat, order diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, make referrals to specialists and manage overall care.
Nurse practitioners often work closely with physicians and other health professions as part of a team. Some NPs work independently and manage their own clinics.
What do nurse practitioners do?

  • Holistically identify issues affecting a patient’s health and quality of life.
  • Diagnose and treat common health conditions.
  • Diagnose and treat minor injuries.
  • Order and interpret laboratory tests.
  • Prescribe drugs.
  • Make referrals to specialists.
  • Can act as a primary care provider.

There are many different types of nurse practitioners. Barker is a family all ages NP with a background in emergency nursing care, remote nursing and dermatology.
Barker can see anyone across the life span from infancy to elder. She also provides prenatal and postnatal care in a primary care setting.

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