When she joined GMC: November 2011
Current role: Staff RN, 2 North - Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU)
What brought her to GMC: As a nursing student, I did several clinical rotations at various locations here at GMC and was really impressed by the friendliness and teamwork exhibited by the staff and physicians. That really set GMC apart from the other hospitals in which I had done rotations.
I was hired as an Emergency Care Technician in the GMC-Duluth Emergency Department and later completed a nurse residency program there as well. From there, I also worked in the GMC-Lawrenceville Emergency Department before moving into my current position in the GMC-Lawrenceville CVICU.
What keeps her here: Along the way, I have worked at several other hospitals in various units, but I have kept coming back to GMC. One of my favorite parts of working at GMC is the community atmosphere. Whether I am here during the day or night, I am always running into someone that I know from somewhere! The people that I work with are absolutely wonderful and we work well together. I always feel supported when I am at work - something that is essential in a critical care unit. That kind of camaraderie is hard to find! It makes the most important difference when working 12-hour shifts and caring for patients. I couldn’t ask for a better team than the one in the CVICU.
Choosing a career in Nursing: About ten years ago, I was injured in a serious car accident and ended up having several surgeries on my leg over the course of two years. During that time of multiple surgeries and rehab, the nurse that I saw week after week in my doctor’s office really kept me hopeful and pushed me forward. There were times when I wanted to give up, but she wouldn’t let me. She motivated me, educated me, and helped me to get back on my feet (literally). She inspired me to go into nursing as I wanted to be able to provide the same care, hope, and support to someone in need, as I once was.
What she likes best about Nursing: You can do anything you want! There are so many different types of nursing that you can get into. If you don’t like a certain type of nursing or working in a particular area, you can always try something new until you find the perfect fit.
Nurses make such a difference in people’s lives. What drew me to my current unit is the fact that it’s a hybrid unit – we are composed of a CVICU and a CV Stepdown. We take care of CV surgery patients from OR admission to discharge, so we really develop a different perspective on the patient. It provides for a varied learning environment, which I appreciate. We also get to know our patients and their families over the course of their stay. But, the best part is that we eventually see our patients get better. We are able to realize how what we do each day actually makes a difference. It is very rewarding!
Key to success: I am a big advocate of obtaining and maintaining certifications. I know that some people are intimidated by the whole process, but I always encourage them to give it a try. Many times, you are the only person stopping yourself from realizing your full potential. Don’t set limits for yourself! Whether it is fear, anxiety, or worry, push it aside and take a chance. Certification is such a great way to increase your knowledge and stay current in your area of practice. I believe that the process of getting certified ultimately helps me take better care of my patients, while demonstrating pride in what I do.
As a nurse, there is always something new to learn, so it is important to be a life-long learner and to continue to better yourself and your practice. We can never become complacent because our patients depend on us to provide the best, safest, and most comprehensive care possible. In terms of what’s next for me, I am currently considering advancing my career to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
When she’s not working: I sleep! I work nights so when I am off, I try to get as much sleep as I can. I really do enjoy it! I spend as much time as possible with my fiancé. We enjoy traveling the world, cruising, adventurous activities like scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, and ziplining, trying new restaurants, and our cat, Cruz. I also spend a lot of time reading, doing genealogy research on my family and playing the piano and violin.