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Q&As with Care New England Nurses

Job: ED nurse
Hospital: Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island
Care New England Family Member Since: 1991

When you read on and hear Kathleen speak about her commitment to nursing, you'll understand why she said her job is demanding, fast and fulfilling. We think you'll also see that her heart is in her work.

Why did you become a nurse?
I became a nurse because I always wanted to do something that made a difference in people's lives. My mom was a nurse and I saw how she impacted the lives of her patients.

What makes Memorial a great place to work?
I have worked at other hospitals in the past, and the difference between "them" and Memorial is the team work and cooperation among the staff. 

Describe a typical day at work.
There is no such thing as a typical day in the Emergency Department. I never know what the night is going to bring, but that is why I love emergency medicine!

How have you been able to advance in your career with Care New England?
I have been able to advance my nursing at Memorial by participating in educational classes offered at Memorial and other Care New England hospitals. I was able to complete SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) training at Women & Infants. I have also been able to assist with RIDMAT (Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team) because Memorial was able to cover shifts when I assisted in the H1N1 vaccination clinics.

Why should someone consider working at Care New England?
Care New England is a great place to work as a nurse because they offer great health care, they encourage advancing individual's education, and they offer diverse job opportunities throughout the [health system].

Job: Specialty Coordinator, Ortho/Neuro/Podiatry
Hospital: Kent Hospital
Care New England Family Member Since: 2008

Erin is a person of few words that believes in teamwork, accountability and knowledge, which is probably helpful -- and valued -- in her fast-paced work environment. To honor her ability to communicate with less, we'll just let you read on.

How is Care New England advancing health care in Rhode Island?
With the area's high elderly population, we've been designated a NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) organization. We've introduced new technology in surgical services, robotic surgery and orthopedics.

How do the ACT values of accountability, caring and teamwork come to live in your department?
Our team at the ambulatory surgical center will help out anybody from discharging patients to [teaching] fellow staff members how to use equipment.

Why should someone consider working at Care New England?
[Kent is] a small community hospital willing to teach.

Job: Clinical Nurse Manager
Hospital: VNA of Care New England
Care New England Family Member Since: 2005

When you speak with Meghan, she talks about doing what you love. She's always known she wanted to be a nurse, but didn't consider she'd find her love in homecare. Today, she's passionate about keeping people healthy, safe and happy in their homes. And, she loves doing it with the Care New England team.

Why did you become a nurse?
Ever since I watched the TV show ER, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I pictured myself in the ER until I was ready to retire. I was there for five years until I found homecare and I fell in love with it. It is very different than people think. Everyday is a new experience, going into someone's home and delivering care in a non-hospital environment. You have to be very independent and quick on your feet with good clinical assessment skills, because you never know what you will run into. Nurses, patients and families develop bonds with each other, and it's really satisfying to know that something you did helped keep this patient out of the hospital and at home where they want to be.

How have you advanced your career within the VNA of Care New England?
I started as a case manager and after three and a half years, moved into an office position as the triage nurse. I have recently stepped into the role of clinical nurse manager.

Why should someone consider working at Care New England?
CNE has good benefits and longevity for employees, which makes it a worthwhile place to work.

What do you do in your department to have fun and create a family atmosphere?
We decorate the office for holidays, and when someone has a birthday or event in their lives, we come together as a group to honor that person. I was having a baby a little over a year ago and everyone came together to throw me an amazing baby shower after hours. I cannot even express the gratitude and thoughtfulness of all my colleagues and management.

Job: Nurse Manager, Pre-Admission Testing (PAT), Ambulatory Surgery Unit (ASU), and Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
Hospital: Women & Infants
Care New England Family Member Since: 2015

You'll first be distracted by Lisa's Georgia accent and gleaming smile, and then you'll quickly realize she's a pro, and a smart one! New to Rhode Island, Lisa joined the Women & Infants team to be able to have a single focus of care in women's health and the care of their infants. She also appreciates the family-centered culture of care supported by CNE's ACT (accountability, caring and teamwork) values. Read on to see for yourself, instead of taking our word for it.

Why did you become a nurse?
I was a candy striper when I was in high school. My friend's father was a physician there, and he allowed us to see many interesting things, including a baby being born. My fellow candy striper became faint and had to slide down the wall to sit, but I watched the whole thing and was spellbound. When the baby was born, the nurse let me help weight it. I fell in love that day and the rest is history.

How do the ACT values of accountability, caring and teamwork come to live in your department?
Without these values, we would not be able to provide the safe, competent, compassionate care that we provide. We must hold ourselves and others accountable for our practice; we must care for all of our customers, and do it with finesse and teamwork. That is what a caring and successful organization does.

Describe a typical day at work.
My day usually starts with rounds on my units and staff. I check the surgery schedule and my calendar for the day. I attend the morning management bed/staffing meeting. We discuss any issues from the day and night before, plan our day and staffing. There are often meetings to attend, otherwise, I am on my units taking care of anything that arises. I have different initiatives that I am involved in, including patient experience and the safety committee. These committees work on discussions and action plans to improve patient satisfaction/experience and patient safety. I deal with any patient concerns as well as physician concerns. There is always something or someone needing my attention.

How is Care New England advancing health care in Rhode Island?
The very first thing that comes to mind is the recent Baby Friendly designation. This was in the works prior to me coming here, so I did not play a particular role in the process. However, I am so fascinated by just the thought of what that means for this community and beyond. Healthier mothers and babies create a lifelong legacy. We are caring for a whole new generation and supporting families. The breast feeding initiative alone aids in preparing a future of improved health for this state.

What do you do in your department to have fun and create a family atmosphere?
We often bring in food to share for luncheons, and even just on the spur of the moment. I am from Georgia, and during one luncheon, I brought in southern macaroni and cheese. It was a hit. Some of our staff members have green thumbs. There is nothing better than a caprese salad with fresh garden-grown tomatoes. I have not been here long enough to totally get immersed in all that I plan to do in my departments with my staff, but I have lots of plans!