Sheri Warkentin’s world has been extremely busy since arriving in LaRonge on May 1, deployed as a Public Health Nurse to help with COVID-19 work in Saskatchewan’s north. The Northern Population Health Unit in La Ronge houses the Medical Health Officers and Public Health Nursing Specialists that support contact tracing across Saskatchewan’s Far North.
"I came up here a Public Health Nurse knowing how to do my job,” she said. “But what I learned when I got here was that my experience in Davidson was nothing compared to what I was about to learn.”
There were so many cases being identified so rapidly in La Loche, Buffalo Narrows, Beauval and Ile a la Crosse that public health pulled in help from all over the province to perform contact tracing on them all.
“I learned very quickly how to enter cases and contacts into a new program that I had training on but never been in before, and now I have become a trainer of sorts in this program which I had hardly even seen before May 1. When you work on something for 12 hours a day, you get good at it pretty fast,” she smiled.
Warkentin’s main focus while in La Ronge has been to get caught up on the entry of cases that came before the entrance of all the extra staff and then to train employees in the area so she can return to her regular work in Davidson.
“The staff here were very welcoming and grateful for any help I could provide. They are still working very long days. I feel very grateful for the experience I have gained here, and will never forget how hard everyone was working to try to stop the spread of this virus. Thank you for this amazing experience.”
Warkentin’s view from her balcony in the staff accommodations