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Tisdale – Opportunity Grows Here

Tisdale Community Spotlight

Welcome to Tisdale, home to approximately 3,000 people. This amazing small town is located in one of Saskatchewan’s richest agriculture areas and is well known for producing substantial amounts of canola and honey. The town has everything you need and more including recreational facilities like the RECplex, close proximity to regional and provincial parks including Greenwater and Kipabiskau , schools, restaurants, a museum, wellness centres, a golf course, parks and several sports/community/service clubs.

You can learn more in the Tisdale Community Guide!

All and all, Tisdale offers a high of quality of life and opportunities to keep you and your family healthy and active year round.

A local perspective

Lia Boxall is a Nurse Practitioner working out of Tisdale. Read more about her experience living and working in the rural community below:

Lia Boxall, Nurse Practitioner (NP)

“I work at the Northeast Medical Clinic in Tisdale, and also at the Tisdale Hospital when I do “on call” one night a week.”

What healthcare services are provided in your facilities?

“The Northeast Medical Clinic is a primary care clinic that serves Tisdale and surrounding areas. Its catchment area includes about 7,000 people. We have 6 physicians and 2 Nurse Practitioners. The primary care providers are supported by administrative and medical office assistant staff, including a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) who assists with procedures, injections, Rx reviews, and patient follow up of results. A primary care Pharmacist spends a day in our clinic weekly and is an invaluable source of information and support for providers, but also will follow up patients post medication change. We also have Saskatchewan’s first rural, multidisciplinary Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Clinic (operating since 2018) which sees CHF patients; our Heart Function Team has a physician, NP, pharmacist, dietician, chronic disease Registered Nurse (RN) and a medical social worker. A mental health counselor joins us weekly to provide accessible mental health counselling to low risk clients. There are a number of other practitioners located under one roof: chiropractors and massage therapists, dentists and dental hygienists, optometrists, and a denturist.

The Tisdale Hospital is a 24/7 medical facility with 15 beds, an Emergency Room, Dialysis Unit with 7 chairs, a Chemotherapy outreach program with 4 chairs, lab and diagnostic imaging services, and supported by allied professionals such as Mental Health and Addictions, Medical Social Workers, Diabetes and Heart Health team (Chronic disease nurse and dietician), a therapies department with physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and Public health and Travel Health. The hospital is attached to New Market Place, our long term care facility that looks after 72 residents. Our facilities and community have a wide spectrum of health services available.”

What do you do as a Nurse Practitioner?

“I am a primary care NP. This means that the bulk of my work is providing primary care to the entire age spectrum of patients. I try to do this in the framework of caring for the entire patient, addressing physical and emotional needs, within the context of their family, work and community life. Part of my job has also been to look more broadly at the community as a whole and to help address needs, including educational needs, safety enhancement, prevention of illness; in effect, to work up stream to enhance health and therefore, reduce burden of health care needs to populations of people. I also have “on call” responsibilities once a week. In this role, I attend patients in the Emergency Room (ER) who present with acute health issues.”

Why do you enjoy working in Tisdale?

“Tisdale is my home town, and we chose to come back here (from Vancouver and Calgary) to raise our family and to farm. When you have roots in a place (family, friends, livelihood, history), I think it is natural to want the best for the community; part of that is provision of healthcare. Rural healthcare encompasses a wide variety of healthcare needs, for a wide variety of people, whether it be industrial accidents, playground mishaps, chronic diseases, screening to identify health conditions, and the list goes on. To be entrusted with the privilege of providing healthcare to people in my community, possibly who I have known in the past or who have known my family, is gratifying and a privilege. I feel that being embedded and engaged in the community-its people, its needs, and its resources- enriches the quality of care that can be provided. And then to provide that care in the context of a small team of dedicated and knowledgeable healthcare providers, who work as a team and trust each other, is something to be proud of. Two strong examples of this trust and teamwork came out when our hospital provided care to victims of the Humboldt Bronco’s bus crash and also in how we came together to face the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic placed on our healthcare resources.”

What do you love about living in Tisdale?

“I love that I am part of a community that supports its members, “we look after our own”. I think that is the essence of a small community. We support each other in good times and bad. We volunteer to improve various elements of our town, or to bring experiences to those of us who live here. I also love that we could raise our family here, in a safe place, with healthcare and education facilities, and economic opportunities that did not hamper them in furthering their education and allowing them to make their way in the world beyond Tisdale. They learned the value of having a work ethic, of volunteering, of helping others who needed a hand, and of enjoying the feeling that they are part of something larger: a community. And from a purely practical and logistical view point, I love that I can do my “chore list” in town in a hour and be back home on our farm enjoying everything rural living offers.”

Tell us more about your career pathway. Did you work in other facilities throughout Saskatchewan or in another province?

“I attended University of Saskatchewan and attained a Bachelor of Science Degree (BSc) in Anatomy and then a BSc in Nursing in 1988. I worked Neurosurgery in Saskatoon for 3 years then moved to Vancouver to work Neurosurgery and Neuro Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for 1.5 years. Life took me to Calgary next, where I did my Adult Critical Care Nursing certificate and worked Intensive Care and Emergency in Foothills Hospital. I was married while living in Calgary and we moved to Saskatoon when we wanted to start a family. I worked ICU there until a move to Tisdale in 1998, with a toddler and our second daughter on the way. Moving to a small rural hospital was a shock. Never had I not had every specialty and team member available to me in the tertiary hospitals of Vancouver, Calgary or Saskatoon. Now, I was expected to know a little bit about everything, and I embraced the learning curve I was on, in rural nursing. I worked on the floor but mainly in the ER department. In 2004, I started my Nurse Practitioner Advanced Certificate program and graduated in 2007 with an Advanced Certificate as a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. I love the role I am in and can see that all of my past nursing experience has helped strengthen my ability and interest in caring for my patients.”

Do you have any advice for new grads looking to pursue a career in a northern or rural community?

“Like Nike advertised: “Just Do It!” I think every nursing student or new grad should do a rural nursing rotation. They would realize that rural nursing gives a wide range of opportunities to do quality, basic nursing care, but at the same time, to get a taste of many kinds of nursing and patient needs. Variety is the hallmark of rural nursing, especially in acute care. But so is teamwork and problem solving because those are often the best ways to provide quality care in a relatively resource limited environment (compared to tertiary care nursing) where every other allied health professional is readily available. And once a new grad tries out rural nursing, they may realize they love it!”

What do you love about working in health care?

“Nursing offers a unique privilege to those involved in it. A nurse is entrusted to care for clients and families when they need it the most-when they are vulnerable, anxious, sad, ecstatic, hurting, dying-and if that nurse is lucky , he/she will be able to see the patient transition to become a coping and thriving person again or come to the end of their life comfortably. In my career, when I have thirsted for a change or a challenge, I have been able to find something to whet that thirst. I have loved the challenges of learning new skills and knowledge and then using that to care for patients. To transition from the Registered Nurse role to the NP role has encompassed an even higher level of the trust and challenge I mentioned. Finally, throughout my career, I have been privileged to work with good people who believed in teamwork to provide excellent patient care.”

Join the healthcare team in Tisdale

Check out current opportunities in Tisdale:

Relocation and recruitment incentives may be available based on position!

Originally published on March 10, 2023