Registered Nurse and Clinical Director of the sixth floor Medical Surgical Oncology.
What was your inspiration for getting into healthcare?
I went into nursing by accident. I was in a Biology program at NMU, I was entering my final semester and was approached by the school of nursing if I would be interested in entering the BSN program. At the time, I didn’t know about nursing, didn’t know a nurse, or have a good understanding of the role, but I was a care-aid at Eastwood Nursing Center, and I had just obtained my CNA license, so I was doing that while going to school. I took a lot of pride in what I was doing, so even though it was tough and very demanding work, I left every day feeling like I did something meaningful and of value. So I made the leap, joined the nursing program, and here I am today.
When I jumped into it, it was that feeling of being in a position where I’m serving my community and serving a vulnerable population that I felt had a lot of value.
What is your role as a nurse leader?
Nursing leadership has a lot of responsibilities. Every day is different but within each day, there are the same standard things we are responsible for. I’m ultimately responsible for the quality, safety, and satisfaction of the patients and employees of the sixth floor. There is a lot of regulatory compliance I am responsible for, making sure we have the equipment we need, being responsible for ensuring the staff has the workflows and support patient care. I take a lot of pride in what I do, and I’m very proud to represent the sixth floor.
How has your role changed with the pandemic?
The most significant thing that’s changed with the nursing staff on the sixth floor is being able to help patients and families navigate our limited visitor policy. It can be a challenge to communicate with families over the phone and ensuring families have contact with loved ones through phone and video. It takes a lot of time and effort to make sure we’re doing the best we can and my team is doing amazing.
On the sixth floor, we care for low-risk Patient Under Investigation (PUI) patients, so ensuring my staff has the proper PPE and workflows to do their jobs safely is a top priority. But really the most important thing during this is making sure we are communicating and we have a hyper-diligence on safety with patients and staff.
What are some of your interests outside of work?
My three little girls are my everything. They are a handful, yet fiercely independent young ladies. I love to spend time with my family, and I’m fortunate to have my extended family in the UP. My mom, two sisters and grandma, and I bought a camp together a year ago, so we love being at camp. And if I have a moment to myself, I really enjoy reading.
What is your favorite part about working at UPHS – Marquette?
My favorite thing is the shared experience. It can be difficult for our loved ones and people outside the hospital to understand the complexity of care and how hard we work. It fosters an environment and a culture of camaraderie and teamwork. I love that I can walk down to the cafeteria and say hello to people by name and they can say hello to me using my name. I think that’s very special here. I’m really proud of the sixth floor; the teamwork and support system we have with each other. We come in every day and do our best and work really hard to care for our community. There’s great value in that and it’s really meaningful.