Nursing: A Crucial Aspect of Care at The Providence Center
When you think of behavioral health care, it’s most likely psychiatrists and case managers that first come to mind. But more and more, nursing has become a critical part of the treatment landscape. The Providence Center (TPC) employs nurses in many departments with a variety of specialties, including prescribing nurses, float nurses, and nurse practitioners.
Melanie Dubois has held many positions at TPC and currently works in Emergency Services, helping patients manage acute symptoms. She started at TPC as a third shift residential assistant, and eventually worked her way up to a position in vocational development. In nursing school, she double majored in psychology and found pediatrics and psychology particularly interesting. Her first nursing job was as an RN at Hasbro.
She found that the hospital setting wasn’t what she was looking for. “I found it a little bit restrictive, and felt that my knowledge was not being fully utilized. I decided to make a change (one of the great things about nursing), which led me back to TPC,” said Melanie.
Melanie rejoined TPC in the home care field, traveling around and providing care where patients live. She left to have a family, and eventually returned to Emergency Services and Intake, but has covered in other departments like Engagement and Diversion and the Crisis Stabilization Unit.
She enjoys the connections that are made with patients in behavioral health. “Because we have to think about the patient’s long-term success, we’re able to establish relationships, even with Emergency Services patients that we see for only a short time. I still have folks that leave me a message to let me know how they’re doing and how I’ve helped them, which is very rewarding.”
Melanie has recently passed her family nurse practitioner boards and is now working to continue the psychiatric work she enjoys, while also trying to implement the medical components of care. “For many patients, a nurse will be the only health professional they will see, so both mental and medical health aspects are important. I would love to see nurses have more opportunities to have training and courses and advanced degrees to keep up the changes and demands.”
Maggie Raczkowska is a nurse that oversees all TPC’s residential locations, providing care at all the group homes and supervised apartments. She was a case manager at Brick Manor, a residential facility, when it was acquired by TPC, and decided to stay on when she finished nursing school. She enjoys the flexibility to be able to provide the right care where it’s required. “I have scheduled rounds and meetings with patients, but I can change my schedule and prioritize based on need, like if a patient is having an emergency.”
Maggie likes that nurses at The Providence Center can take a hands-on approach to care. “Nurses here have the advantage of working with psychiatrists side by side, and many of our nurses can visit patients at their home and assess things based on how they live.”
She’s also proud of the important part nurses play in caring for our patients. “Since I started here, nurses have come to represent more and more of the medical side of treatment at TPC. They are like the second hand of our doctors, and they should be acknowledged for all the work they put in,” said Maggie.