Joy Pritchard is a registered nurse, writer, teacher, and researcher (just to name a few of her accomplishments). After becoming a nurse at the Tamworth Base Hospital in 1967, she performed her clinical training at the University of Alberta hospital. She went on to attain her Bachelor of Education degree and taught at the University of Alberta from 2002-2008. After reading about her accomplishments and her drive to help others, I was very excited to interview her and learn more about her experiences and motives that have motivated her on being such a proactive citizen. Her publications include the “Shadow Lake”, “The Secret”, “Living together but living Apart”, “He’s always right, We Should Have Patented the Thing, How many Sleeps to Thom Bay?” and a “Tuberculosis Teaching Package”.
A.A: I hope you are doing swell and I would like to thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions;
What is the most fulfilling piece of writing that you have written, and why?
I have written many things including a memoir, autobiographical short stories, fictional short stories, poetry, post apocalypse sci-fi, which is becoming a trilogy. However, my memoir is the most fulfilling as it captures an adventurous life of travel, interesting people, and fulfilling work.
A.A: Where did the inspiration to become a nurse come from?
My Dad said when I was very small, ‘Joy, be a nurse, you will always have three squares (food) and a roof, and the world will always need nurses.’
A.A: How did your experience as a writer affect your work as a nurse and an educator?
I was asked to write curriculum for Licensed Practical Nurses to upgrade their education to Registered Nurses, and then I had the privilege to teach them. I’ve also written a Teaching Guide on Tuberculosis for nursing and the medical profession; curriculum for Personal Care attendants, and Inuit and First Nations Community Health Representatives. During all those years I never considered myself a writer.
A.A: I was doing some further research and if I am not wrong, you wrote on Alzheimer. How did your education/writing help you throughout that process?
A writing friend of mine asked if I could write a story about Alzheimer’s for Alberta Caregiver Magazine. This was my second story to be published. The story is fiction but based on my experience as a Home-care Nurse; many of my clients had Alzheimer’s or other dementia’s.
A.A: Did you find any overlap between being a nurse and being an educator?
Absolutely! I think the two professions went hand-in-hand for me, but maybe not for others; I have an insatiable curiosity. I remember my RN training – I would read everything and then I would re-write it!
The field of medicine is one of the most intriguing professions and one of my personal goals is to become a doctor. It was a complete pleasure to interview Joy Pritchard. The questions in this interview focused on Joy’s professional life and like her name, her answers were full of inspiration and optimism.
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