What did you want to be as a kid and how did you ultimately choose your career/job?
In elementary school, each year we were tasked with creating a "bare book." This was a bound book with blank pages to author and illustrate our very own story. One year I wrote about "what I want to be when I grow up." I had decided to be a "neonatal intensive care pediatrician," and I was going to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Please don't judge the child who didn't know the difference between neonatologist and pediatrician; I had big goals.
Once I finished high school, my plan was to pursue nursing as a steppingstone to med school. I then became an Emergency Department (ED) nurse and realized that I really enjoyed this field, as well as the energy and variability of the ED setting. I also appreciate the many aspects that shape nursing into a strong and trusted profession. I'm still a nurse.
What is a typical workday like?
A typical day is quite variable. While a lot of time is spent reviewing trauma charts for quality, I may also respond to trauma activations, collaborate with other departments, provide staff/community education, and other duties as assigned. Trauma is a service that touches nearly all aspects of the hospital. It definitely doesn't operate in a silo, and it will keep any trauma group on their toes.
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
I think that a big challenge can be balancing ideals and realities. Making a call on quality retrospectively provides a unique set of challenges. We have an excellent team of employees here at Texas Health Allen, and I am confident in the care of our patients. There are many influencing factors that drive decision-making, and not losing focus on what it means to be at the bedside is important.
What do you like most about your job?
I really enjoy looking at data to find areas of opportunity and then working with employees to translate this to practice. It is rewarding to maintain a focus on patient safety and continuously working to influence positive outcomes for patients and their families. It is extra rewarding when those outcomes are seen.
What do you do when you're not at work?
I didn't give up on my educational goals and am currently enrolled in grad school (nursing), so most of my free time is spent bonding with my schoolbooks. When I can break free, I love to take road trips, spoil my three very large lap dogs, and play board games with my family.