What is your role at UPHS – Marquette? I am the Clinical Manager for the Rehab and Neuro/Ortho/Peds Units on the 7th floor at UP Health System – Marquette.
What was your inspiration for getting into healthcare? My mom always encouraged me to be a nurse. I never even considered it. After my second battle with cancer, I started thinking about becoming a nurse. The nurses that cared for me really inspired me as they were caring, compassionate, and empathetic. Nurses touch lives in ways no one else can and I wanted to pay it forward by giving back to others what was given to me. We typically see patients and families during possibly the worst days in their lives and if I can positively impact them during that time, I know I have achieved what I set out to do in nursing. I love being a nurse and I am proof that mothers really do know best.
What’s a typical day like for you? What is it like working in this field? A typical day for me ensuring that we are providing quality, safe care to our patients. This includes close communication with patients, their families, providers, and staff. Some of my duties include recruiting, budgeting, scheduling, mentoring, developing educational plans, ensure regulatory compliance, and writing policies. I co-chair the Fall Prevention Committee and help teach Handle with Care classes. I also help the hospital supervisor department with covering some hours for them. I have enjoyed learning their role, and meeting staff in other departments.
Every day brings new learning opportunities. The thing I like best about my position is that I still have time at the bedside with patients. My job is fast-paced with a lot of moving parts, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
How long have you been employed here? Have you always been in the same position?
I have been employed here for almost 22 years. I started as an RN on the Cardiac unit in 1999. In 2002, I moved into an assistant nurse manager role there. I loved Cardiac care and the nurses that I worked with, but with the move to the new hospital, I was ready for a change. I helped with the move plans for the 7th, 8th and Rehab floors and then transitioned into my current role. I really enjoyed the 7th-floor population; this type of care is very rewarding. Patients come in unable to walk or speak, and leave doing both. It is so gratifying to see the hard work that is happing with these patients every day. The staff that I have worked with over the years have all been amazing.
What are some of the big changes you have experienced in this position?
When I started my career, we had paper charting. There were three managers on the floor: one for each shift. I was the Assistant Nurse Manager on the night shift. Nurses could take up to seven patients, or team nurse with LPNs and care aides for 14 patients. Now, we have electronic charting, and there is a manager and director per floor. We are now primary up to 5, and team nurse up to 8 with an RN: CA on the night shift. A lot of our tasks are now decentralized, adding to the time we spend caring for each patient.
Though the approach to how we care for the patients has evolved a lot over the years, the quality of care has remained our primary focus.
What are some of your interests outside of work? What is your favorite local gem? I love spending time with my family. Almost every day after work I can be found on the trails around the Marquette area. I also love spending time on the water kayaking. In the winter, my favorite thing to do is to cuddle up by the fire with a good book. My newest hobby is quilting. My favorite local gem is watching the sunrise over Lake Superior. The best viewing spot is right from our 7th floor.
What do you enjoy most about working at UPHS – Marquette? The sense of family. Whether as an employee or a patient, everyone genuinely cares. I am so grateful for the people I have worked with over the years and the community that I live in.