June 25th, 2015
By Dana Smith
Written by: Ilana Logvinov, M.S.N., R.N.
Nurses often ask me about my role as an Advanced Certified RN Clinical Research Coordinator. How did I learn about it ? What do I do in this role? In fact, my role is very diverse and as a dedicated RN Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) for the Department of Anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic in Florida, I have grown in this role tremendously.
Clinical Trials Nurse (CTN) or RN CRC are registered nurses specialized in the facilitation and conduct clinical trials involving human subjects. A nurse working with clinical trials has a wide range of responsibilities involving coordination of care and research activities. CTNs or RN CRCs are responsible for not only managing the prescreening process for prospective eligible research subjects, but also enrollment, recruitment, and participation in the informed consent process. CTNs or RN CRCs are responsible for supervising the coordination of care for research participants with other members of the multidisciplinary research team in addition to maintaining the research files according to the Federal Guidelines.
Becoming a CTN or RN CRC is huge learning curve for even an experienced RN, because the “research language” is very different and learning Federal Regulations is imperative to outstanding performance. It took me about 2 years to really learn my new role and understand all the language surrounding research. It was also beneficial for me to complete my MSN with major in Clinical Trials Research. After coordinating trials for several years, I became more involved with drafting the research proposals, conducting literature searches, and contributing to manuscript preparation. My clinical experience as a nurse really helped me understand the logistics and practicality of conducting clinical trials. In addition to my clinical experience, I continued to gain knowledge through post graduate studies in my doctorate program.
June 19th, 2015
By Jill Turck
Erin Martin, CRNA, DNP
We’ve all heard the adage, “Those who can do . . . Those who can’t teach.” Whoever coined that phrase had obviously never met a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. As CRNAs, we teach every day – we teach our patients, their families, the public, and those with whom we collaborate professionally. And some of us are fortunate enough teach the next generation of CRNAs. I consider myself lucky to be a member of that group.
I received my Master of Nurse Anesthesia degree in 2005 from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, School of Health Sciences Master of Nurse Anesthesia Program. Attending the anesthesia program at the Mayo Clinic was a true privilege, as it is the oldest continually operating Nurse Anesthesia Program in the country – celebrating its 125th Anniversary in October, 2014. As a student in this program, I had the opportunity to work side by side and learn from many of the experts who write the textbooks that line our shelves. When I graduated, I had no idea that I would eventually become a faculty member at my respected alma mater.
When we were all eager new graduates, we had many goals and aspirations. For most of us, spreading our wings and refining our anesthesia delivery skills was at top of that list. Along with that goal, many of us also wanted to impact our profession in some way. For me, becoming involved in education was an effective means of doing just that.
I view the provision of anesthesia to patients undergoing surgical procedures as one of the greatest privileges in nursing and medicine. The trust that patients put in anesthesia providers is great, and so is the subsequent professional responsibility. I feel lucky to be able to both provide this care and educate others on how to do so. In my role as an educator, I strive to instill in students a sense of inquiry and professionalism while providing them with solid didactic and clinical preparation for their anesthesia careers. Just as providing anesthesia to patients is a great privilege coupled with great responsibility, so is providing education to curious minds.
So what does a day in the life of a nurse anesthesia educator look like? One certainty – two days never look the same! Most days involve a variety of activities – preparing lectures, correcting papers, scheduling workshops, attending meetings, working with students on research projects, etc. The amount of preparation that goes into developing an entire course is astounding. I aim to make sure that my courses include the latest evidence, and involve multiple modes of teaching in order to reach all types of learners. This does not happen without the investment of a lot of time and energy – a fact I had grossly underestimated prior to my involvement as a faculty member. The days when I am involved in face to face classroom lectures are the best days, as I have an opportunity to interact with the students. These days may involve lecturing, instructing students in workshops or simulation sessions, or casually visiting with them and hearing about their clinical experiences. The feeling one receives when you see the ‘light bulb’ illuminate for a student is nearly indescribable.
Watching the transformation of a timid, new SRNA into a confident clinician is an amazing experience, and one that is rarely seamless. Every student struggles at some point in his or her program, whether it is with intubations, pharmacology, or communication. Helping the struggling student, and seeing him or her overcome roadblocks is particularly rewarding. Because I also work in clinical practice, I have the opportunity to work side by side with the students I teach. What a gratifying feeling it is to help a student with an induction or emergence, and realize they barely need you there. Working with students also makes me a better clinical practitioner; teaching them how to deliver the best possible care is a constant personal reminder to follow my own instruction.
Although it may sound mundane, preparing lectures and developing curriculum is also a challenging and rewarding aspect of my job as an educator. Examining current literature, staying abreast of the newest technologies and issues within our profession, and figuring out how to most effectively and creatively deliver this information to students is invigorating. Ensuring this information is delivered within the framework of the standards set forth by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs is a crucial component of curriculum development and delivery. Much debate occurs within our profession about the quality of educational programs these days. I feel a great sense of responsibility to make sure that the program of which I am a part delivers the highest quality, most up to date information possible to our learners, and a great sense of pride when I see the high quality CRNAs that are entering our profession.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in Nurse Anesthesia Education. The advent of the clinical doctorate, new technology, and political influences have brought with them both positive and negative chatter within our profession . . . which all leads to interesting dialogue. Why do we need the clinical doctorate? How will it make me a better CRNA? Is more technology beneficial or detrimental? What can we do to ensure our profession remains respected and relevant? As an educator, I have the opportunity to engage in these rich conversations and hopefully provide some answers to these not-so-straightforward questions.
I would encourage everyone to re-examine those new-graduate goal lists we all made after graduation, and to thoughtfully consider how you might influence our profession. Maybe your means of influence and improvement is through anesthesia education. Remember . . . those who can do, and those who can do it really well, teach others how! The profession of nurse anesthesia has a long, rich history . . . and with dedicated educators, it will also have a solid and bright future.
Written for AANA - Become a CRNA
June 9th, 2015
By Dana Smith
There are thousands of facilities that hire new grad nurses to fill nursing opportunities. Of course they train and provide an onboarding program but, is it enough to help new nurses gain the skills and knowledge at the beginning of their career? Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida offers a Nurse Residency program that is recruiting top students from around the country, has low turnover, is changing the lives of many new grad nurses and ultimately creating better patient outcomes while strengthening the skills and confidence of the new graduate.
According to Maria Becker, RN, “The program helped me gradually adjust to my role as a nurse, providing a 12 week orientation with a nurse preceptor, residency classes in varying topics every month, shadow experiences in different departments, and a nurse mentor for the first year. I remember going home each day after my first weeks and thinking that there were so many little things I learned that day that I did not know before. For a while it was all about the little successes throughout the shift, giving myself credit for something I didn’t know how to do a day earlier. It was also so nice to have a nurse mentor, someone I could talk to when I was nervous about my first shift on my own, had a difficult shift, experienced my first code, or what she did in a similar situation, etc. I think having a mentor in the nursing profession, especially as a new nurse, is so important and can really make a difference in that first year out of school adjusting to the RN role.”
Rachel Shad, RN, “I think the aspect of the program that is most helpful is being able to have a group of peers who are all at the same stage of their careers, that are able to come together in a group and share stories, offer advice and just have open discussions about the different struggles and successes they are having on their individual units. It helps normalize some of the stresses and pressures that you experience during your first year of nursing.”
Recently the Nurse Residency program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida was highlighted in Nursing Management Magazine, to read the article please visit this link. Reeling in RN's with a residency program
For more information visit our website at Nurse Residency in Florida.
April 8th, 2015
By Jill Turck
Nursing Students hope you have a great conference at this week’s convention NSNA! Stop by our booth 509/511 to learn more about our A Life-Changing Career with Mayo Clinic!
The Summer III Nursing Externship Program extends beyond the borders of Rochester, MN. I learned this when I was first exposed to Mayo Clinic in Michigan and then again, two years later, in Kansas.
As a sophomore pre-nursing student, I was very aware of the Mayo Clinic Summer III Program and the way it helps nursing students connect theoretical classroom knowledge to real life situations. To my amazement, Mayo Clinic attended a career fair at Calvin College, a small Christian school in Grand Rapids, MI. While senior nursing students crowded around the Mayo table to speak about post-graduation employment, I waited to find out about the Summer III program. The HR person’s face beamed when I finally made it through the line and told her of my interest. “Latasha, this last one’s for you,” she said and that’s how I met Latasha Perkins, Mayo Clinic’s wonderful Summer III ambassador. I already had my information packet in hand so Latasha quickly realized I didn’t need logistical details. I needed to know if I was a good fit for Mayo Clinic. So, although it was late in the day, and she probably would have liked to pack up and leave, Latasha sat down to listen to me explain my passion for nursing and all my lofty career goals.
She connected with me on such a genuinely personal level that, by the end of our short conversation, I knew Latasha is amazing and different from any other recruiter I’d ever met. NOW, of course, I recognize that she was upholding what I know to be the Mayo Clinic Values. But back then I was simply struck by the idea that, if Mayo Clinic has people like Latasha, then I want to be there too. After repeating my name about a dozen times, and asking her not to forget me, I promised she would see my application the following December. She laughed good-naturedly and promised not to forget.
My life took an unexpected turn when I decided to take a gap year in my studies and work full time as an EMT in Chicago while transferring to a larger university. I was willing to finish my undergraduate degree a year later than originally planned but I also had to postpone Mayo Clinic. So, nine months after meeting Latasha, I emailed her to explain why I wouldn’t be applying for the 2013 program after all. With little expectation she would recall our meeting, a few hours later, crazy as it sounds, I received her response. She DID remember me and would be expecting my application for 2014. Thank you for not forgetting me Latasha. By remembering and caring, you showed me for a second time, just how special Mayo Clinic must be. Without your warm response, I don’t know if I would have mustered the energy to apply to a long-distance externship so soon after re-starting my life in Kansas City. But I did and I was incredibly excited and grateful to accept my Summer III offer.
Little did I know I would experience the “Mayo Way” once again before actually moving to Rochester becoming a Summer III.
I met Mary, a pre-op nurse at a Kansas Hospital, during one of my clinical days in the CV-OR last Spring. Within minutes of working with our first patient of the day I could tell there was something dramatically different about the way Mary provided care. Despite the fact it was 7AM, and Mary’s third consecutive day working a12-hour shift, I watched as she treated our anxious patient with compassion and reassurance. She took the time to listen to his concerns and answer every question, no matter how small. She had a contagious smile on her face and assumed complete responsibility for helping the patient feel calm and safe. She performed her nursing tasks so diligently that, by the time his family left for the waiting room, she had time to pull a chair to his bedside and simply hold his hand – one person connecting to another. She didn’t see him as just another patient; she saw him as an important individual with highly individual needs.
When the patient was transported to the OR, Mary turned to me and asked what I was doing with my summer. My response was general – just that I would be working as an extern in Minnesota. But Mary immediately gasped with delight and said, “Are you going to be a Summer III?” Before I could figure out how she knew, she said she was a Summer III and it had been the single most impactful experience of her nursing career. She made lifelong friends that summer, was even in one roommate’s wedding, and the women remain close friends years later, getting together frequently even though they live in different states.
All of a sudden I realized I had seen Mayo Clinic in action – again – only this time it was a Summer III who was one of my nursing mentors. I was incredibly impressed by Mary, as a person and as a nurse, but I still couldn’t understand how Mayo Clinic produces such wonderful people. What was the secret? I combed the website over and over again, reading all the information and watching and re-watching the Summer III interviews on-line. I wasn’t skeptical when I heard their comments, I just couldn’t fathom a place like they were describing.
Week One of our Summer III Program began to give me answers. As I found myself standing in the unfamiliar setting of an OR, I sensed right away that there were many things to learn here that nursing school wouldn’t, and just couldn’t, teach. Mayo Clinic would teach me about nursing that goes well beyond medications and procedures.
During week two, a patient came into the OR and, as the anesthesia team began their work, my clinical coach walked to the patient’s side to provide a smile and a hand to hold, I saw the patient’s body relax and it all seemed very familiar. Suddenly it clicked and all made sense as I thought back to Mary in Kansas City. Handholding is an international symbol of care and comfort and it represents the spirit of nursing at Mayo Clinic. That’s what I’d been struggling to identify. The Mayo Way is all about caring.
These are Mayo-trained nurses, I thought to myself, the ones who truly and wholeheartedly believe that the patient always comes first. These are the nurses who are willing to hold hope for a patient when he can’t hold it for himself. Mary and Becky embody Mayo Clinic nursing and now I will too. Thank you Becky for all your support and guidance, and for holding my hand during 10 weeks that have powerfully changed my life.
I am so thankful to be a Summer III. The program has been everything I hoped it would be and I’m convinced we have each been prepared and empowered for an exceptional nursing career. We may be here at Mayo Clinic or, like Mary, hundreds of miles away. But wherever we’re called to serve, we will always be Mayo-trained nurses and people will notice there’s something different about us – some THING that sets us apart from the rest. Thanks to Mayo Clinic, I can’t imagine ever being anything less.
March 20th, 2015
By Jill Turck
My name is Amelia Howell and I am an LPN at the Mayo Family Clinic Northeast. I have been at Mayo for three months but my journey to get here was a long one. I had dreamed of being a nurse since I was eight and working for Mayo became a dream shortly after.
Two family members have battled cancer. One was treated at Mayo in Rochester. One was not treated at Mayo and passed away within a year of diagnosis. I always felt the quality of care received, or rather didn’t receive, made all the difference, thus making Mayo all the more appealing to me. For me, the best thing about being at Mayo is exactly that. I AM AT MAYO! I have struggled with Cerebral Palsy my whole life and while being a nurse was always my dream, I was often told that it was a foolish dream; eventually I got a push from a very dear friend and went to school. School was no easy feat and I became very ill during my last few quarters making it seem like I was going to be unsuccessful with my nursing career. I pressed on though and eventually, I made it to my pinning ceremony and passed my boards. I had done it, I had become a nurse.
The question now was could I actually make it a career, and then one day I got the call, Mayo was offering me a position. Not only had I succeeded at becoming a nurse when several doctors told me it was an impossibility, I was going to be working for Mayo. My dream had finally been realized. When it came time to start, I was nervous to say the least, I began to question my abilities as a nurse, but then something changed, while orientating at my clinic I was constantly working as part of a team, and in an effort to be part of the team and make teamwork successful I began to feel empowered. I began to have a can do attitude, and realize that I can do this, I have all the skills. Because I felt so empowered I began to volunteer to learn new skills and even to be one of the LPN on a pilot project at our clinic. While I am a long way from being an expert in my field I have several resources and a great support system to help me grow through my career with Mayo. More important to me than the benefits or the reputation I get by being a Mayo employee is the knowledge that should I choose to further my nursing career Mayo would support me. While I have only worked for Mayo a short while it has made a huge impact on my life, not just in my sense of pride and accomplishment, but it has helped me to believe anything is possible. As for my family, I have never seen my mother more proud. Mayo for her has always meant the difference between life and death, it has always meant quality of care and kind nurses. I have yet to have a day where I haven’t thought to myself, today is a good day. I am at Mayo.
Written By Amelia Howell
LPN at the Mayo Family Clinic Northeast
November 17th, 2014
Written by: Rita Jury, Nurse Administrator
Jim Hubert, a registered nurse educator and wound care specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System Oakridge in Osseo, Wisconsin, celebrates life by giving. Even before he became a nurse (his second career), Jim was generous with his time and talent by serving those in the community, and he and his wife raised their family to do the same. He feels blessed and chooses to bless others!
Jim has been at Oakridge for 12 years and has engaged fellow employees in feeding the homeless through The Community Tabl
e in Eau Claire. Two or three times a year, the signs go up announcing the next Oakridge-hosted event. Jim gathers employee volunteers who prepare, cook, serve and clean up after the meal that typically serves between 150 and 200 homeless people. He also has a theme and gathers items that are necessary for that population – personal hygiene needs, like soap, washcloths, and deodorant; dental care needs like toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, and denture cleaner, and; winter needs like long underwear (a huge favorite!), and new or gently used sweaters, fleece, coats, hats and mittens for people of all sizes and ages (we sometimes forget that children are homeless too).
Jim organizes one person to check blood pressures for any person who stops by. Community Table charges the sponsoring site $100 to help defray the cost of food. Jim gathers donations or pays this fee himself.
Those of us who have participated with Jim are humbled by the benefits we receive – we see grateful people get food, warm clothing, a blood pressure screening, a smile, a warm hello. We see a team of employees pulling together for a great cause and having a wonderful time getting to know one another better. We leave feeling we received so much more than we gave. An additional benefit: We care for each other differently after we serve together!
Jim’s volunteerism didn’t start or stop with the Community Table – he’s been involved in projects with his church, with Hope Gospel Mission, Feed My People, and the Eau Claire Free Clinic, and he has a passion for finding and recycling medical equipment for people with a need. Jim’s house has stored hospital beds, wheelchairs, commodes, walkers, lift chairs, shower chairs, canes and more over the years. Nothing makes Jim happier than to place equipment in the homes of people who cannot afford what they need to recover fully.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful season of giving thanks and of giv
ing back. Jim’s tireless energy around giving reminds those of us who work with him that poverty and homelessness and need are not seasonal. Jim reminds us that giving is a way of life.
September 18th, 2014
By Dana Smith
Written by: Ilana Logvinov, RN, MSN, CCRP
RN Advanced Clinical Research Coordinator
May 2003 was the date my journey began at Mayo Clinic in Florida. I began working as a staff nurse in the Medical ICU. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, I completed my initial nursing education in Odessa, Ukraine. I moved to the U.S. in 1997, and in 2001 I graduated with my associate’s degree in nursing science. As I worked at Mayo Clinic, I continued my education and eventually obtained my BSN and MSN degrees in clinical trials research. I have always been self-motivated, and my colleagues provided tremendous emotional support for my nursing endeavors. I have always wanted to work in research, and I began working as a clinical research coordinator for the Department of Anesthesiology in 2007. This was a life-changing career move for me.
Clinical research opened so many opportunities and allowed me to excel academically. After completing my MSN in 2010, I began working closely with my investigators and participating in writing research proposals, completing the studies, and writing manuscripts for publication. I shared my passion for research with many nurses I mentored along the way as well as clinical research interns. I am currently working on my doctorate of nursing practice degree. My successful career would not have been possible if it was not for Mayo Clinic and wonderful staff that work here. My favorite quote is by Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
August 26th, 2014
Written by Nichole Herr, RN
In August of 2006 I started with Mayo Clinic in Rochester as a Vascular Access Technician in the Thoracic/Vascular ICU. Growing up all I wanted to be was a Veterinarian, so this was an interesting change of pace.
A year into that position, which I held for 6 years, I decided I really liked working in the hospital and specifically for Mayo Clinic. With the help of Mayo’s great tuition reimbursement program, I completed nursing school and graduated in 2011. From then on, the doors seemed to continually be opening for me within Mayo. I had amazing support working for the float pool in Rochester. After a year of general care I was hired to their ICU float pool and continued to thrive as a new nurse. The sky literally seems to be the limit within Mayo. Peers are always pushing you forward and are there to help along the way.
In the winter of 2013, after spending my whole life in small town Minnesota I was thinking I needed a change of scenery. Knowing I never wanted to leave “Mother Mayo” I started looking at positions in AZ. A patient had told me the previous fall that I needed to stop trying to control my destiny and just go through the doors as they open. This hit me really hard…so I applied for a position within the ICU at the Phoenix Campus and decided to see what happened. After that the flood gates literally opened. On a flight down to AZ to run a race, I scheduled 3 interviews for positions and when I landed was given the opportunity to do an exchange with the AZ Campus. Mayo took amazing care of me, as well as my co-workers. We were treated great while helping the ICU in AZ temporarily and I would strongly recommend this experience to anyone.
After the exchange ended, I made my permanent transition to Mayo Clinic AZ. I feel so lucky to work for such a great institution and will forever be thankful for the opportunities I have been given as a result.
August 6th, 2014
My name is Angie Deml and I've been a registered nurse in the Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea for over 20 years. This was my third medical mission trip to Colombia with Children's Vision International. Each year we offer medical/surgical care, dental care, respiratory care, wound care, haircuts, and evangelism. This was our first year offering an eye clinic as well. We brought over 1600 pairs of eyeglasses from the Lion's recycling center in Wisconsin. These are eyeglasses that have been donated from all over the Midwest and labeled with the prescription on each pair of glasses. Our team consisted of doctors, nurses, dentists, optometrists, medics, barbers, and respiratory therapists. The team comes from all parts of the USA as well as the UK with numbers adding up to around 70 when you add in the interpreters and helpers from Colombia. We travel to remote locations in Colombia where the need is recognized by the government and overseen by the local pastor and mayor. This year we traveled to Bolivar, Puente Nacional, and Patio Bonito. There we seen 4650 patients with over 1000 people seen the first day.
A typical day consisted of being greeted by hundreds of people already standing in line that went on for blocks. Many had walked over four hours from their homes in the mountains to get to our clinic. Some had started walking at 1:00 am to assure they would be seen that day. Once registered, they would proceed to triage where they would get their height, weight, first set of vital signs, and chief complaint. While waiting, an evangelism team would perform a drama. From triage they would decide if they wanted medical, dental, or optical attention.
The days would last till dark which would be around 5:30pm. Knowing many had walked hours and waited hours, it was difficult to turn anyone away at the end of the day. On the first day, after attending such a high volume of people, there was that famous phrase "can you just see one more"? An 8 year old girl came to us with her mother who proceeded to tell us her concerns regarding her lazy eye. Our optometrist determined she needed a +7 lens to correct her vision. We knew the inventory of glasses we had brought down and knew there was nothing that strong. However, there was a pink pair, with no prescription known, just thrown in the tote with the other glasses. We had the doctor check the prescription and sure enough they were perfect. The little girl couldn't thank us enough. Her mother had tears of joy, along with everyone else in the room. Seeing the faces of everyone getting their glasses and seeing the visual acuity charts or being able to read the letters right in front of them was so gratifying. Their smiles got larger as their vision got clearer. Many tears of gratitude and pure joy of seeing were shed by many. They continued to thank us for coming and we received many kisses and blessings in return.
The days were long and hard, but every day was so rewarding knowing you made a difference in so many lives. Over 600 people received glasses while we were there. That's 600 more people seeing the world in a whole new way that we can so easily take for granted. I appreciate the resources that we have so readily available and don't take for granted the healthcare we have. These trips help remind me of this and to appreciate all that we have.
August 6th, 2014
Many Nurses can recall the Florence Nightingale pledge which was written in 1893:
Most Nurses were required to memorize this pledge for their pinning or capping ceremony. I don’t know about you but I can’t remember cell phone numbers without looking it up on my contacts let alone this very important pledge!
Times have changed…Or have they really? To my knowledge and observation of our extraordinary Nursing staff, they all still practice this pledge today. They give passionate care to the sick and needy, they place their skilled hand on the patients shoulder giving comfort and hope when hope is lost. We don’t need to memorize the pledge to know how to practice nursing. Nursing is a team sport and together we help each other achieve the highest level of care for our patients practicing…Do no harm. Each of us as nurses have also been instilled with the expectation to hold in confidence all personal matter committed to our keeping-now known as HIPPA.You see, times are not so very different when you speak of Nursing care. Today we just practice nursing with a few extra tools such as computers and care mobiles. Our care and compassion as nurses hasn’t changed.
Florence Nightingale would be proud of how far nursing has come and the distance yet to be traveled as a profession.
I thankful I am a Nurse and can have the opportunity to work with an extraordinary team of staff.
August 5th, 2014
Brandon Mauck, RN Nursing Informatics
Growing up as a South Dakota native, I was naturally very familiar with Mayo Clinic and its great reputation. As an adult I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of this unique and historic health system over the last four years. I’m always very proud of Mayo Clinic…proud of the enterprise as a whole, down to the department I work in. Though, I must say that I never imagined that I would be so well cared for by my employer.
Just after Thanksgiving (2013) my immediate family and I made a trip back to the Midwest to visit family and friends for the holidays. A few hours after arrival in North Dakota, my wife, who was 29 weeks pregnant, went into pre-term labor. As you can imagine, being in rural North Dakota and three hours away from trusted medical care was quite distressing. Once my wife and unborn baby were stabilized and care-flighted to Bismarck (ND), we found ourselves fearful of the medical unknowns that lay ahead of us. On top of this, we were terrified to know that we were now “stuck” 1,500 miles away from preferred medicine and from home with a 3.5-year-old, 2-year-old, and soon to be NICU baby. As I tried to brainstorm on how I could make this situation better or easier for my family, a light bulb went on in my head…“Mayo!” I recalled reading an article on the Mayo intranet about the Mayo air ambulance only a couple weeks prior to our trip and I had put the 1-800 number in my cell phone. I literally called the Mayo 1-800 helpline at 11am on a Sunday morning and my wife was picked up at 6pm that night for an air ambulance flight back home to Phoenix. With the help of all, my wife was able to make it to 31 weeks before our baby boy was born, a handsome preemie NICU baby who was healthy and only needed to grow and learn how to drink out of a bottle.
I write this in extreme gratitude to Mayo Clinic for providing me with a positive life-changing experience. Thank you Mayo Clinic, I will be forever grateful that you helped my family move from a situation of distress and fear to a place of improved safety, convenience, and comfort.
July 28th, 2014
Hello, I’m Kathy and have been a nurse for 12 years. My career has consisted of travel nursing with a couple of detours with temporary staffing. The longest I have stayed at a hospital has been 2 years, until I came to Mayo Clinic Hospital in Arizona. I've been here for 3 years, and half of it as a travel nurse working various units. One of my favorite stories from my Mayo experience was from my first day on orientation of 4W; the RN and I walked into a patient room and found a doctor, but no patient. When we inquired about the patient location he said, “Oh, I helped her into the bathroom and I’m waiting to see if she needed help back to bed.” My response was utter shock that a doctor would put the patient’s needs ahead of his own schedule since this is what I've seen at other facilities. One of my deciding factors of staying was the support of the staff and interdisciplinary team work of Mayo staff. This is the first time in my career that I feel like I have a voice in the patients plan of care.
The greatest difference Mayo has afforded my life is stability with a strong work family as my Phoenix support system. I’m very happy with my work here and feel like I make a difference in my patient’s lives and hopefully strengthen my work team. Another benefit of being a core staff RN is the opportunity to further my education. I’m looking into starting a MSN program in the spring and the amount of financial support from Mayo is substantial. When I mentioned this goal to my supervisor she offered words of encouragement and reassurance of flexibility in my work schedule for school.
I have worked for many hospitals across the country and never felt a part of an amazing team that supports one another day in and day out. I’m honored to be here and only hope that my experiences shared above encourage another generations of nursing to join us to carry on this great tradition.
July 24th, 2014
In addition to working as a staff RN on an Internal Medicine floor, one of my roles is working as an admission nurse covering four of our busy medical units. I admit patients from all over the world, with various ailments. A lot of our patients have traveled here because they have been told elsewhere there is nothing else that can be done for them, or because they believe there is something more that can be done. We see patients with rare conditions, patients who have stopped walking, stopped eating, and some who are on the verge of giving up.
Sometimes I am the first personal contact they have as they are getting settled in to their blue patient gowns, family members on cell phones letting loved ones know they have finally made it. They are exhausted, but they are happy to be in our presence. They go in to detail about their journey, how long they had to drive, how many layovers they had, how many MRIs, blood tests, and CT scans they have endured until this point. As they share many details their eyes begin to fill with tears. I try to imagine what they have been through, but am sure I fall short of complete comprehension. I go about helping them remove their compression socks; I inspect their feet, and settle them into bed. They continue to tell me their story and plead with me to assure them they are in the right place to find answers.
I find myself sympathizing deeply and I want to tell them to worry no more, but I can’t do that. You see we learn in nursing school that we aren’t supposed to instill false hope, and I tell them exactly that. I attempt to explain that we aren’t supposed to say “everything will turn out fine” or “we will find you an answer” and that I wish that I could, I wish I had the magical wand. I continue with my thorough head to toe assessment and ask pertinent baseline questions. I look over hand written medication lists and verify the dosages. My assessment is done and finally, knowing I will probably never see these people again, I attempt to offer them a glimmer of hope.
I take this opportunity to share how I’ve taken care of patients who were unable to walk when they arrived but left here walking--patients that thought they were going to be on tube feedings for the rest of their lives that left here eating. I tell them I can’t promise what their future will bring but that I do believe they are in the right place, a truly magical place.
July 17th, 2014
By Dana Smith
Written by: Palma Iacovitti, Nurse Manager, 3 South Transplant
What could be better than working with a group of people that you can actually feel comfortable with? Relaxed enough that you would invest a couple of hours painting your very own oil-based picture with, look like a total klutz while bowling, playing volley ball on the beach, getting soaked by water and sun at a pool party and belting out some laughs at a comedy show? You can’t find that too often. You’re probably saying to yourself, seriously, with people from work?
I am the nurse manager for Transplant Surgical Services at the Florida campus. As many may know, nursing can be a stressful profession. I am pretty confident that we all recognize what causes stress or even burn out on the job. Our unit is demanding like many other units: assessments, admissions, discharges, endless charting, phone calls, call lights, passing meds, report, the list is long and feels endless at times. Stress is high on our department and we had to seek innovative ways in which we could decompress and gel as a team. Some people felt that they couldn’t even say they were stressed because they were uncomfortable expressing it. It’s important that staff feel safe to say that they are having a bad day. I thought it was time to get to know one another again. It had been a long time since we had done something together as a group. We had hired a lot of new staff since we last had a team function. So, low and behold, champions were born! I didn’t have to look too far.
An RN (Pamela Delano) and a PCT (Lindsey Duke) partnered together to plan “team events” on a regular basis. It has been amazing! This has had a positive effect on the unit by strengthening trust and teamwork among the staff, improved communication, unit-based initiatives are going great, staff are getting more comfortable with each other and receptive to one another, and the BEST part….drum roll please….this will all improve patient safety, which is a top priority for Mayo Clinic. I believe when relationships between staff are good, there is less stress on the unit. This ultimately benefits patients. I am really proud of our Transplant Team. They are a remarkable group of men and women. I have no doubt that more team events are imminent! Can’t wait!!
July 10th, 2014
By Jill Turck
Being a part of the Mayo Clinic team has been very rewarding and challenging. I have been a Registered Nurse for about a year at Mayo Clinic in Rochester on a Cardiac Surgery Progressive Care Unit. I would have never thought my transition from a student nurse could have been this successful. From the beginning, everyone I have been in contact with has been very helpful and inviting.
Mayo Clinic ensures new graduates have a smooth transition and feel comfortable and confident before sending them on their “own.” I put own in quotations because everything is a team effort at Mayo Clinic. There is someone to reach out to if I need help or have questions. Whether it is a new nurse that started around the same time as me or a long-time experienced nurse, everyone is totally committed to their profession and eager to help. In addition, Mayo has a ton of online resources available if one is ever in a bind. Teamwork is a value that shines through on my unit and is often discussed by nurses on other units as also being highly valued.
In addition to the extraordinary teamwork that helps ease the transition, one remarkable aspect is the training involved on and off the unit at the beginning of one’s nursing career at Mayo Clinic. Before being introduced to the unit I would be working on, I went through an orientation program that involved an introduction to the core values, expectations, benefits, and history of Mayo Clinic. This opened my eyes to what established us as a well-known and profound hospital to work for and be a patient of today. After that orientation, the orientation on my unit began. This was exciting and nerve racking at the same time. I was anxious to finally become a nurse working for an industry that leads by example and puts the needs of the patient first. Yet having an important role in the team caused me much anxiety.
The orientation on my unit lasted a couple of months because of it being a progressive care unit (PCU). I was part of a program called EPIC (The Essentials of Progressive and Intensive Care). This program was about 2 months long. It brought me back to the basics of each body system and what to expect and watch for with critically ill patients. In order to pass this part of the class, I had to score at least an 80% on a written exam. Also, because we continually monitor heart rhythms on our unit, I had to learn how to read EKG strips. This was quite challenging at first because I was not taught in detail about EKG strips in college. I thought I was never going to remember all the different rhythms! I was obviously wrong, due in large part to the nurses and staff members who taught the classes because they were very helpful and willing to put in extra time if needed. Looking back on the program, I feel as though it was beneficial and important to help me be successful beginning my new career.
Since starting on my unit, I have witnessed an industry that operates effectively and efficiently towards a specific goal for each individual patient. Mayo Clinic is known for putting the needs of the patient first, but it is even more rewarding to be a member that strives for and witnesses this attribute. Every day I come to work I am happy to be there. I am faced with a different challenge each and every day which requires me to critically think which will benefit me as I continue my career as a registered nurse and as I pursue a higher education. Being an employee of Mayo Clinic thus far has been a blessing.
July 3rd, 2014
Written by Shirin Zanganeh, ICU RN
I never thought that attending a public event to let the community know that Mayo Clinic exists in Arizona would bring tears to my eyes. As I sat there at the baseball game, I had an overwhelming number of patrons approaching my table to tell me their story of how Mayo Clinic changed their life. Every day, as a Mayo Clinic nurse, I put my patients first and make sure all of their needs are met. It is in my blood and in my nature to advocate for my patients and make a place that takes all of your autonomy (a hospital) into a place that makes you feel like you are at home.
In many of the stories I heard how Mayo Nurses really affected a patients’ hospitalization. The patron that made me cry was the patron that came up to me and stated, “Mayo Clinic saved my life”. He continued to share with me that the nursing staff and physicians worked together to give him the best possible care, and his end result is a cancer remission. He stated that he felt like he was at home. Patients at Mayo become part of our Mayo family. Being at a public event really made me see this, as many former patients came to tell us their story. I am ever so proud to be an employee at Mayo, and will continue to place my patients at the top of my list every morning. After all, this is their home for a day or maybe even more.
June 6th, 2014
By Jill Turck
Growing up in a small town in Maine, I never would have envisioned myself moving to the Midwest for a job. My journey to Mayo Clinic actually started in California while I was attending a psychiatric nursing conference and met a group of nurses from Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Every nurse that I interacted with loved their job and felt that they were making a difference in the lives of patients. Some of the nurses had been Summer III Externs and encouraged me to apply for the externship the next summer. When I returned to the University of Maine, I submitted my application, doubting that I would be accepted to such a prestigious program. I had no idea that this decision would mark the start of a life-changing journey at Mayo Clinic.
The 10 weeks I spent in Rochester during the Summer III program changed my perspective on nursing. My placement on an inpatient mood disorders unit, the same unit that the group of nurses I met at the conference worked on, was perfect for my educational background -- I had just completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I remember move-in weekend like it was yesterday. The chaos of nursing students from around the country moving into the apartments was electric. The energy did not die down during the course of the summer. After a few weeks on my clinical unit, I began to realize that the nurses had not been exaggerating; Mayo was an amazing place that touched the lives of both patients and employees. Returning home for my final semester of nursing school, I faced a difficult decision. Should I apply for an RN position at Mayo Clinic and move 2000 miles away from my family or should I accept an offer for a spot in a Family Nurse Practitioner program on the east coast as I had originally planned?
My desire for a varied med-surg nursing experience and love of change led me to apply for a position on the general care float staff at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The decision to postpone my plans for FNP school and accept the RN position came easily after I thought about the extremely diverse experience I would have in my first new grad position. Mixed in with my excitement about the new job were strands of fear. Would a position floating to 35 general and progressive care units prove to be too much for a new grad? Even my professors voiced concern about it. Would it be difficult to meet new people when I did not have a unit to call home? What would orientation look like?
Orientation would be a four-month process of first becoming familiar with one unit and then floating to all of the inpatient general care specialties at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Rochester. The experience provided me with the foundation I needed to feel comfortable practicing independently but also showed me that I was never alone. As a float staff nurse, there is no way that I can remember every unit specific procedure. Working with unit-based preceptors, I found the most important lesson learned was never to be afraid to ask any question.
Fast forward one year. Being an RN on the Float Staff has been everything I could have hoped for; it has given me a diverse med-surg experience and fostered my love for change. I have never felt that floating was too overwhelming, because of the extensive orientation and support that I feel from my peers and managers. Contrary to my original fear, floating has allowed me to meet and befriend people from around the hospital. I have found ways to become involved outside of my role as a staff nurse. I am my unit’s wellness champion, and I volunteer for the No One Dies Alone Program. Floating has nurtured personal skills such as flexibility, patience, and confidence. Nursing at Mayo Clinic really has provided me with a life-changing experience and will continue to do so as I start orientation again for an ICU Float Staff position next month.
May 29th, 2014
It's official ... my maternity leave has come to an end! I recently returned to work after 12 wonderful wintery weeks of baby bonding time. Yes, part of me was saddened that my wee one now had to learn to share me, for I would no longer be available anytime on demand. On the other hand, I have returned to work with a rejuvenated sense of satisfaction and pride. I have come to realize, from the perspective of a new mommy, how grateful I am to work for Mayo Clinic as an institution.
I quickly got back into the groove of my professional life, and during my initial days back at work got reacquainted with changes that occurred while I was away. One might not think a lot could be different in three months but let me tell you, one might be wrong! Just the mere fact that there were different alcohol wipes stocked on my unit threw me for a loop, not to mention my computer login screen looked just a little bit different. That being said, my transition from sleepless nights with my baby to, well, sleepless nights working night shifts could not have gone smoother. My work "family" was so supportive in reorienting me to new policies, and it was nice to share pictures and stories of my little ones as well as catch up with my colleagues. I love the people I work with, so my re-entry into the working world was that much more enjoyable. I am very fortunate to have an employer that supports me and the well-being of my child by providing lactation rooms and supplies. How nice is that? Also, the opportunities for work hours and shifts that best facilitate the ideal work-life balance for my family is priceless! We all know there is more to life than work, but loving what I do is a big piece of my overall happiness. I am counting the many blessings in my work, because refreshed gratitude allows me to be the best nurse I can be -- which, of course, is one of the many roles in my life!
May 19th, 2014
May 2nd, 2014
By Dana SmithMany nurses ask themselves: “What are my professional goals as a nurse? Do I want an advanced degree to become an Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator or Nurse Administrator?”
There’s a wide variety of advanced degree options within nursing. One example is the role of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), who works collaboratively to improve the quality of patient care, and helps achieve desired patient outcomes in a designated population or specialty practice. The CNS functions as a leader within the three spheres of influence (Patient/Client, Nurses and Nursing Practice, Organization/System), and is an active participant in the collaborative practice framework. The education requirements to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist, include a Master’s degree focused in this area and be nationally certified.
Lesia Mooney, a Neuroscience Clinical Nurse Specialist at Mayo Clinic in Florida, works with cerebrovascular patients. Lesia became a nurse after caring for two family members with terminal illnesses. At that point she realized she wanted to help others and make a difference in patients’ and families’ lives. As she grew professionally with Mayo Clinic’s support, she decided to obtain her Bachelor's degree in Nursing (BSN) and a Master’s with a focus in Advance Practice Nursing. She did not want to lose the focus of nursing/patients/families and really enjoyed the educational component in nursing, so this track fit her professional goals.
Most recently, Lesia has been called “Ms. Certified” by a patient, who noticed her certified credentials on her badge when she was doing rounds. She was able to provide in-depth education to this stroke patient, who was involved in research and was discharged into rehab. Lesia adds, “As a specialty nurse, I felt I made a difference in this family’s life with the support of my team members! This was a very rewarding experience that made my day!” Her experience and education, allows her to provide care to stroke patients, including those suffering from ischemic, hemorrhagic and transient ischemic attacks. She rounds with the Neurologist providing transitional care - following patients through their hospitalization, ensuring education has been provided and promoting research opportunities, while helping with patient discharge and follow-ups.