Although Linda Turnbull's name may not be familiar to everyone in BC's peritoneal dialysis clinical community, her work almost certainly is.
Linda is an Alberta-based PD consultant on contract with the BC Renal Agency. Over the past four years she has helped launch the PD Assist Program and the agency's online PD patient training modules, and is working to develop provincial best practice guidelines for PD.
Her familiarity with BC's renal community comes from the 15 years she spent as a PD educational consultant with Baxter, the Renal Agency's primary PD supply partner. During that time she developed an appreciation for the innovative and team-oriented culture within BC's renal community.
"In BC, people working in renal worked differently from elsewhere in the country," says Linda. "Their clinical teams functioned collaboratively and were always very open to integrate new approaches. It was very appealing to me."
That's why, after retiring from Baxter in 2012, she jumped at a "fabulous opportunity" to work as a consultant for the BC Renal Agency.
"I love it," says Linda. "It allows me to contribute to improving care for patients and to continue learning and keep current with the latest developments."
Linda grew up in Calgary where she trained as a nurse. She graduated in the late 1970s, when full-time nursing jobs in Alberta were hard to come by. She found her way into nephrology by accident. After bouncing around in a variety of short-term nursing positions she landed a job covering a maternity leave position in renal nursing at Foothills Hospital. After her nine months came up she was delighted when they offered her a full-time job.
"Nephrology is a good fit for me," she says. "I like the long-term relationships with patients. The relationships keep me feeling passionate about renal care."
Linda and her husband Peter live outside of Calgary on a property where, in addition to their day jobs, they've raised cattle, chickens and horses. The last of their horses, Joe, died recently after 33 years on the farm. Linda says she and Peter are now spending more time travelling, so it's unlikely they'll get more horses. From now on their horseback riding will be on horses cared for by someone else. They also enjoy spending time together golfing and hiking.
As for travelling, Linda and Peter have a special fondness for air travel. Unless long distances or oceans are involved, their preference is to fly their own plane – a Piper Cherokee 235 – to their holiday spots, whether that's in Arizona or Vancouver Island. Linda and Peter have both been pilots and co-pilots over their many years of flying together.