From part-time RPN to administrator

Neil Peterson reflects on his career path at West Lake Terrace

November 25, 2013 — Deron Hamel

When Neil Peterson took a part-time registered practical nurse (RPN) position at West Lake Terrace in May 2012 he didn’t anticipate he’d become the Prince Edward County long-term care home’s administrator less than a year and a half later.

But that’s exactly what happened. Five months after Peterson started his RPN position he was promoted to part-time clinical care co-ordinator. On Oct. 28, 2013, he became the 47-bed home’s administrator, filling the vacancy left by Mary Lynn Lester, who recently retired.

As clinical care co-ordinator, Peterson worked with team members on interventions to improve several aspects of resident care, wound care, continence care, and to reduce urinary tract infections (UTIs). His ability to work with others and develop buy-in for interventions was soon noticed by OMNI management.

“I had the opportunity to tighten procedures and show some initiative in getting the staff behind me in what I wanted to accomplish, which was reducing wounds, reducing UTIs and increasing compliance with incontinence programs,” Peterson tells the OMNIway.

Through interventions Peterson and West Lake Terrace staff members worked on reducing the home’s incontinence rate from 86 per cent to 54 per cent.

“We worked with all the departments to let the entire team have a part in the process, because you need to have a solid team,” says Peterson, who worked in information technology before embarking on a nursing career.

Peterson says what he has liked best about his new role is “being able to see the entire picture” of life at West Lake Terrace. He adds he also likes bringing the OMNI vision and values to the home.

“(OMNI) has really worked well — and worked hard — to have systems that work well as a corporation,” he says.

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