Spring2015 WhatsUpDoc

Frances McDougall

 What's Up, Doc?

Frances MacDougall
Clinical nurse Frances MacDougall founded Too Hot For Tots!, a BC-wide program that educates parents and caregivers on burn injury prevention. Visit www.bcchildrens.ca/KidsTeensFam/SafeStart/too-hot-for-tots/ for more.

I’ve worked as a clinical nurse at BC Children’s Hospital for 25 years. After working on the Surgical/Burn Unit for a few years, it became obvious to me that the majority of these injuries were, in most cases, completely preventable. It was distressing to hear distraught parents say they had received no education about childhood burn prevention during the pre- and post-natal period. It took many years to develop the Too Hot for Tots! program but, in 2012, the program was launched provincially with the support of the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund and BC Children’s Hospital. There were many wonderful people who supported this journey but without the love and encouragement of my husband and mother, I would not have succeeded. In the last two years, over 400 public health and early childhood projects have benefited from the program.

I completed my nursing training at Langara in 1987. After graduating, I worked at the Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and Lions Gate Hospital. I also spent a year working in Hawaii before landing where I had always wanted to be – at BC Children’s Hospital.

I live in Delta with my husband Jack, daughter Erin and son Trevor. I want all children to have the same injury-free quality of life that my children enjoy.

After high school, I worked as a nanny in London, England. Not long after starting my job, the family decided to go away for the weekend leaving me home alone – a decision they would regret. By dinner time I was craving a Big Mac and fries so I decided to make my own; unfortunately, I wasn’t much of a cook! The oil for the fries caught fire; not knowing any better, I put the pan under running water, which caused an explosion and the kitchen filled with black smoke. The family returned to find a smoke-damaged kitchen and their nanny sobbing on the couch with a burnt, bandaged hand. One can’t help but wonder if this led to my career as a burn nurse!

I love the mental and physical challenges of yoga, the exhilaration of mountain biking and losing myself in a good book!

To sing and play the piano like Sara Bareilles; to master a handstand and to be a grandmother one day!

I would like to visit the Grand Canyon, the Egyptian pyramids and go on safari in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. I’d also like to work with underprivileged children in some capacity.

These are the words I live by, although I’m not a recovering alcoholic: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” - Reinhold Niebuhr

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.

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