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Meet Kathryn Sharman, Nurse Practitioner, Akira by TELUS Health

After graduating with Honours from McMaster University, Kathryn began her career as an ICU nurse. It was during these years and countless encounters with patients who were suffering because of poor health choices, where she began to appreciate the powerful impact that health promotion and primary care prevention can have on peoples lives. This led her to enrol in the combined masters and nurse practitioner program at McMaster and pursue a career as a primary care nurse practitioner. She describes being a primary care NP as her dream job.


Why did you chose to become a nurse?

I often get asked this question. And the honest answer is, I’m not entirely sure. I don’t come from a long line of medical professionals and no one in my nuclear family are nurses. Some say the profession choose the person. I think that is true in my case. Since working as a nurse practitioner, I have found that I am well suited for it and learn new things everyday. So if in fact the profession chose me, then I am glad it did because I can’t imagine doing anything else.


Why did you chose to provide virtual care services instead of / in addition to working in person?

The Virtual platform helps specific populations seek help. In particular mental health patients are more likely to initiate an encounter over a virtual platform than in person. This is one of the patient populations I am most interested in serving. I enjoy spending time counselling patients and feel the virtual platform aids in making the encounter not feel rushed.


What do you like the most in working at Akira by TELUS Health?

The patients. I love having the opportunity to engage with the patients. They are always so happy and appreciative of the work we do (especially since the COVID-19 outbreak). In fact, I have quite a few regular patients that request to see me and as such I have been able to forge a strong and productive therapeutic relationship with them. A close second to the patients are the colleagues I work with. I also have a strong bond with my Akira colleagues. We support one another by having an open dialogue aimed at doing what is best for our patients.

Would you recommend clinicians to join the Akira team and if yes, why?

I absolutely would recommend clinicians to join the Akira team. We are always looking for motivated people to learn and grow with. Many of us come from diverse backgrounds which makes our team well rounded and unique.


What do you like the most in being a nurse?

The most rewarding thing about being a nurse, is the satisfaction you get and feel when you’ve been able to impact someones life in a meaningful way. Whether this is by providing a simple medication refill for a chronic medical condition, or lending a virtual shoulder for someone with mental health issues to cry on. I will never tire from the satisfaction being able to make a difference brings me. It is the best feeling in the world.


What would be your advice for students considering becoming a nurse?

Its not for everyone. But, for the select few who are well suited to it, there isn’t a better career.


What would you say to people who are hesitant to use virtual care services?

Give it a try, what do you have to lose? Some people are hesitant because they feel intimidated by having to use technology. Don’t feel this way, the Akira interface is easy to use and feels seamless.


What is your single most important piece of preventive health advice?

Put yourself first. Nothing is more important than your health and mental well being. Remember that fact when making choices. You won’t regret it!

What do you do to unwind?

Play with my four children while teaching them the value of kindness.


Click here to learn more about Akira by TELUS Health.