Angie Robinson’s first steps on her career path as a renal nurse were taken well before she finished elementary school.
“As a young girl, I used to love playing with my grandmother’s peritoneal dialysis equipment and supplies,” says Angie, who is now the home hemodialysis educator for Northern Health in Prince George.
When her grandmother was transitioned to hemodialysis and moved to Vancouver for treatment, Angie looked forward to visiting her grandma in the hemodialysis unit at St. Paul’s Hospital.
“I always had an interest in kidney disease,” says Angie. “I didn’t understand it at the time, but those experiences definitely set me on a course for renal nursing.”
More recently, her uncle received a kidney transplant (his wife was the organ donor) after he developed polycystic kidney disease. So as Angie points out, her family experience with kidney disease has spanned all types of renal replacement therapy.
Since graduating as a nurse from the College of New Caledonia in 1992, Angie has worked mostly in renal care, but not always in Prince George. Early in her career an urge for a change of scenery led her to accept a nursing position in Saudi Arabia, where she worked with colleagues who, like her, were mostly transplanted Westerners. She says she enjoyed her time in the Middle East, and made the most of it by travelling widely around the region to places in Africa and Southeast Asia.
After two years in the Saudi desert, however, Angie became homesick. She says she missed the four seasons, and especially winter! On returning to Prince George she resumed her work as a renal nurse, and in 2004 became the educator for patients registered for the home hemodialysis program during its initial pilot phase. She’s been in that role ever since.
“I love what I do,” says Angie. “I have a passion for it, and find it very satisfying to help patients learn how to do their own dialysis so they can stay in their home communities.”
Angie was also a key member of the development team for Prince George’s independent care unit, which opened three years ago and where she works to help patients take increased responsibility for managing their own dialysis.
Outside of work, Angie enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter months and downhill trail riding on her mountain bike at other times of the year.