BC Biocontainment
Written by Cathie Heritage, Executive Director, Surrey Memorial Hospital

British Columbia’s first B.C. Biocontainment Treatment Centre at Surrey Memorial Hospital is seeking registered nurses and respiratory therapists. Come to the Open House on Oct.17, 24 and Nov. 7.

In this photo: Team shot in unit.

Surrey Memorial Hospital has been identified as the site for B.C.’s Biocontainment Treatment and Training Centre. The Centre is now seeking registered nurses with critical care skills currently working in Emergency (ER), Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) or High Acuity Unit (HAU). We are also recruiting board-certified respiratory therapists who possess neonatal resuscitation skills. These employees would be trained and ready to be seconded to the unit on a temporary basis, if it is activated in future. Visit the unit at our open house on October 17, 24 and Nov. 7 from 12-2 p.m. 6th floor, Critical Care Tower, HAU Pod 4.

“We are expanding the work done as an emergency response to the 2014 Ebola health crisis and to expand our model of care to rare and emerging high-consequence infectious diseases,” B.C. Biocontainment Treatment Centre manager Tracie Jones explained. 

“We will be a centre for excellence for training at the provincial and national level,” Jones said. “We will have an opportunity to help shape how we plan and prepare for emergencies requiring a health care response. To be part of this journey is awesome.”

The BC BTC is being led by Jones, Dr. Titus Yeung, and a dedicated team that includes clinical nurse educator Paula Gillis, exposure prevention client partner Lucy Budhoo, safety and prevention representative Tammy Matson, respiratory therapist Prab Gakhal and Dr. Srinivas Murthy, among others. 

Michael Camporese, a registered nurse in Surrey Memorial Hospital’s ER is one of the staff members who has volunteered to be trained and seconded to the Centre in future. 

“I joined the BTC as a learning opportunity,” Camporese explained. “I’m very interested in new and emerging diseases and the prospect of learning more about the infection control side of these diseases excites me. I’m looking forward to taking my current nursing knowledge, practice and experience and applying that to a strict infection control environment.” 

The team invites you to learn more about this unit and its important mandate. 

Staff who chose to join us will only called upon in the event the unit requires activation. These team members will be trained on an ongoing basis, with four to eight days of education and simulations per year and monthly two-hour Personal Protective Equipment training sessions. This education will be paid. (Individuals will continue in their regular positions throughout the Health Authority and the Lower Mainland and will be called upon for regular duty in the event of unit activation). 

Fraser Health was called on by the province to strike a biocontainment unit in Surrey Memorial Hospital on a temporary basis in 2014. It will now be sustained at the site. Any child or adult patient in B.C. suspected of or confirmed to have a rare or emerging pathogen requiring biocontainment will be treated in the Centre. In its enhanced role, the unit will act as a provincial patient care and training centre.

For more information on the Centre please visit our web site, FH Pulse or email BiocontainmentTreatmentCentre@fraserhealth.ca.

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