All nurses aspire to make a positive difference in the health of their patients; Fraser Health Clinical Nurse Specialist Marcia Carr helps those nurses to deliver top-quality care in many hospitals across a diverse region in BC’s southeastern Lower Mainland. With a broad range of expertise that other health practitioners can count on for authoritative advice, she’s helping make a difference every day.
“Marcia is often called on by staff and leaders to consult on clinical issues,” says Fraser Health Executive Director of Professional Practice Brenda Booy. “She provides mentoring support to many new educators and presents clinical education on a wide range of topics.”
Marcia is a member of the Medicine Leadership Team for Fraser Health, helping to identify, develop and implement best-practice solutions for patients at Royal Columbian, Burnaby, Delta and Peach Arch hospitals and beyond. Among her achievements, she helped to standardize insulin ordering across the health authority; she also provides leadership on implementing the Diabetes Survival Kit for the Medicine Units. Both of these initiatives are helping to identify trends and harmful triggers in deteriorating patients so that they can be treated better — and also let those patients be more proactive in taking care of their own health.
Marcia is a respected expert in areas of nursing for older adults. “A few years ago, she recognized that seniors at Burnaby Hospital were one of the fastest growing populations visiting the emergency department, often with several complex chronic health issues that were sometimes not recognized,” says Clinical Nurse Specialist Patricia Roy. “She developed an education program specifically for ED nurses to learn about the special needs of older patients; this innovative initiative was so successful that it was soon adopted throughout Fraser Health and other areas of BC.”
Lately, Marcia has been sharing her knowledge of challenging behaviors with a wide range of care providers. These include Clinical Practice Guidelines for dealing with falls and injury prevention, as well as delirium, incontinence and depression in the older adult. These guidelines were developed with the best research available to identify practical strategies and interventions, helping nurses to provide more rapid and effective care in complex situations. For instance, as a result of this body of work, leaders advocated for the health authority to purchase and use hip protectors to prevent fractures in vulnerable patients.
Marcia’s natural curiosity and inquisitiveness have served her well over the years. Earning a Master of Science degree in Community Health Administration and Wellness Promotion from the California College for Health Sciences, she went on to take various courses to learn better care techniques for older adults.
Bearing a heavy load of responsibility, she still finds time to work as a Nurse Continence Advisor at a New Westminster Specialized Seniors Clinic. She also continues to mentor graduate nursing students and is an adjunct faculty member at the UBC School of Nursing, where she provides lectures and consulting.
Marcia continues to help other nurses be their best — as countless patients throughout Fraser Health can attest.