UPHS — Marquette Heroes | Karen Johnson, LPN

Karen Johnson, Senior Clinic LPN at UP Health System – Doctors Park | Family Medicine.

What is your role at UPHS – Marquette?
I am a Senior Clinic LPN at UP Health System – Doctors Park | Family Medicine.

What was your inspiration for getting into healthcare?
My mother was my inspiration to become a nurse, and so I attended Bay College after high school to earn my degree. My mother always wanted to be a nurse, but never had the opportunity to pursue that dream. However, she raised nine children and was the most caring, loving person I have ever known.

What’s a typical day like for you? What is it like working in this field?
A typical day depends on the status of the clinic and who we are expecting that day. My team and I make sure our patients are being taken care of and everything runs smoothly. We support each other in managing paperwork, vaccine inventory, and more. Recently, we have been training two new Certified Medical Assistants, and the entire clinic is so excited to have them.

How long have you been employed here? Have you always been in the same position?
I have been a nurse for 38 years and worked here at Doctors Park for 22 years. I started working in the Specialty Clinic at Doctors Park. Some months, we had as many as twenty or thirty different visiting specialists with specialties ranging from Pediatrics, Neurology, Nephrology, Pain Management, OB/GYN, Endocrinology, Infectious Disease, Rheumatology, Interventional Radiology, Cardiology, Bariatrics, and Orthopedics. I also previously assisted with blood donations at the UP Regional Blood Center.

I have been with UP Health System – Doctors Park | Family Medicine for 6 years. I love how in Family Medicine we have the opportunity to get to know our patients as a whole.

What are some of the big changes you have experienced in this position?
I have seen so many changes during my career, from transitioning away from paper charts to Electronic Health Record (EMR) systems. Sometimes these digital systems can be challenging, but luckily we have awesome team members who can help our staff troubleshoot and come up with solutions.

What are some of your interests outside of work? What is your favorite local gem?
My favorite things to do outside of work are cook, do things outdoors, and spend time with my family. My husband Dan and I have been married for 46 years. We raised our adult son, as well as a daughter we adopted as an infant from Korea. I have a “granddog,” an English Bulldog named Sparty whom we all LOVE.

What do you enjoy most about working at UPHS – Marquette?
I love caring for patients, and I am proud to have spent the majority of my nursing career at UP Health System – Doctors Park. I have never worked with such a wonderful group of people – my teammates are my second family. I come to work every day with a smile on my face, and even when I’m wearing a mask you can see the smile in my eyes.

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