Spotlight: Caitlyn Patrick, RN
Caitlyn Patrick is a Registered Nurse (RN) in the Withdrawal Management Program and has worked at SAH since 2013 in various roles. With degrees in psychology, biology and nursing, Caitlyn aspires to pursue a Nurse Practitioner degree in the future.
The role of an RN is relatively new to the Withdrawal Management Program. “I have always had a passion for working in the field of mental health and addictions so this opportunity was perfect for me,” says Caitlyn. “It is still evolving but we have been able to implement many positive initiatives since last June when I joined this wonderful team.” According to Caitlyn, the goal of the RN in this capacity is to complement the work of the Addictions Service Workers to ensure that care is provided within a biopsychosocial model, a holistic approach to care that recognizes the dynamic relationship between our physical, social/environmental, and mental health and how these impact our overall wellness. “The focus is on the client as a whole rather than just their illness. Having RNs and Addictions Services Workers allows us to address these different needs under one roof,” explains Caitlyn.
By applying their clinical knowledge and skills to support clients through their withdrawals, the team in Withdrawal Management is able to minimize non-urgent trips to the Emergency Department. “We have now implemented medical directives that allow us to provide comfort measures to our clients right in the program without them having to go to the Emergency Department,” she says. “This includes nicotine replacement therapy and providing relief for headaches, nausea and vomiting, often symptoms associated with the detoxification process.”
Caitlyn is excited about the improvements that have been made to the program and the many other exciting plans for the future. “We have come a long way over the years. We will soon be adding a Nurse Practitioner to our program to support the clients’ recovery and address other potential underlying medical issues.” In addition to the future plans to consolidate addictions services under one roof, Caitlyn supports the community-based initiatives that are rolling out in our community. “The Wellness Bus just recently launched in our community and it’s all about meeting Sault and area residents where they are, providing basic care, referrals, resources, and support.”
Caitlyn considers herself an advocate for destigmatizing mental health and addictions. “No one is immune to mental illness and addictions. Everyone is affected to some degree and I want people to know that we care and we are here to help.”