8.03.2015

Reflections on a new job.

Some reflections now that I’m more than halfway through orientation for this new job.
In my first seven years as a registered nurse I:
Went from having an associates degree to a bachelors to a masters.
Went from managing tens of patients to hundreds to thousands.
Directly reported to a woman named Paula in all of my previous jobs.  This new job (my fourth) is the first one where I won’t be reporting to a woman named Paula.  Paula is also the name of my yet-to-be-born daughter due in a couple months.
Made about an equal number of enemies as friends.
Experienced sexual harassment four times.
Met about ten nurses that I would feel good about taking care of someone in my own family.
Went from fearing my own mortality to accepting it and back again.

7.07.2015

Where I Work

Well, I've been absent from here for a while haven't I?

After working for 3+ years at a private not-for-profit hospice as a Primary Care Nurse I worked for nearly 2 years at a for-profit hospice agency as an admissions nurse.


Maybe I'll write about this experience later, suffice it to say that it sucked.  A lot.

There is good news though!  I finished my master's degree (now I am an MSN, RN, CNL, CHPN), got married, have a baby due 10/1/15, and next week I start a new job as a Nurse Manager at Community Health Center Inc!

The HR department assigns new hires an essay on why they're excited to work there, aimed at people who don't know what it is.  Here is mine:


PM MSN, RN, CNL, CHPN
Where I Work

Community Health Center is a world-class primary health care system that has been providing medical, dental, and behavioral health care in the state of Connecticut since 1972. Community Health Center's services are available to anyone in the community with a commitment to special populations – the uninsured/underinsured, people living with HIV/AIDS, and people with complex chronic diseases that are under-served by the rest of the health care delivery system. This state-wide private not-for-profit organization employs innovative service delivery methods/models and emerging technologies to promote healthy communities. Community Health Center currently has around 130,000 active patients, but the effects of its work can be felt throughout the state.
As a Registered Nurse with an advanced degree – and former engineering transplant – Community Health Center offers myriad opportunities to engage in meaningful innovative work that demands the highest level of my training and education. Adoption of the Clinical Microsystems model is hard to find outside of the acute-care environment; working in a community-health setting in a nurse-led clinical environment is a rare privilege. Practicing Nursing alongside nursing leaders and nurse-executives that employ up-to-date methods for process improvement and information management within the clinical microsystem framework will support my professional development by operationalizing my new competencies as a certified Clinical Nurse Leader (including things like mass customization, risk anticipation, systems analysis, and data management) and giving me opportunities to develop and expand my portfolio of nursing management achievements and accomplishments.
Community Health Center's commitment to effectively using new technologies sets it apart from most clinical environments I've encountered so far. Among its many accomplishments, Community Health Center was one of the first clinic systems to implement an electronic health record in 2007, making it a leader in the Meaningful Use guidelines established by the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services. Devices like Kiosks and Tablets are not only used, but used effectively and sensibly, a far cry from my previous experiences in the health care delivery system - where technology was used as a cudgel to satisfy requirements rather than a scalpel to improve outcomes.
The Wietzman Institute is one of the things I am most excited about regarding my new career at Community Health Center. The Weitzman Institute is the first community-based research center established by a Federally Qualified Health Center. The research agenda of the Weitzman Institute is focused on practice problems that arise in Primary Care; employing evidence-based practice and patient-centered care in cross-disciplinary research that combines medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and behavioral health. In addition to researching new ways to improve Community Health Center's own quality of care, it develops customized quality improvement tools and training for other health care agencies in the community.
The moment I first walked in to a Community Health Center I could see that things were done differently there. The wide-open naturally-lit spaces, the friendly and helpful frontline staff, the dedication and intelligence of everyone I interviewed with – I knew right away that this was where I wanted to be.

Community Health Center combines everything that makes me excited about the Nursing profession in general and my career in particular. The opportunity to serve my home community. The possibility of doing research and contributing to Nursing Science. Employing the latest technology in a way that expands my capabilities rather than multiplying my workload. Knowing that the work I'm doing is supported by evidence and resulting in better outcomes for my friends and neighbors. For once I feel like I'm working for an organization that shares my goals and values and that is a reason to get excited! To celebrate!

4.17.2013

After Work returns!



I'm about one month away from receiving my BSN.
And then another year away from receiving my MSN.
I'm still working as a hospice case manager.
The adventure continues.

11.23.2011

Core Course

We had our "Core Course" last month, nurses and nursing students from all over came to our office to hear us lecture on various topics.  I attended the core course as an audience member last year, as a new hire, and now I'm presenting every six months!  Here's my first attempt, a lecture on pain and symptom management:

The presenter immediately before me was one of my heroes, an inspiring nurse who got me interested in Hospice care when she came to the nursing home I was working at as a consultant.  Here's her presentation:




One of the best things about working for this agency is the chance to work alongside nurses who have inspired me early in my career.  I'm proud to follow in her footsteps.