Judith Pinkston @judithpinkston
Activity by Judith Pinkston @judithpinkston
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.
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.
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.
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.
When people describe the nursing profession, they often use words like altruistic, selfless or philanthropic, but I rarely hear nurses use these words to describe themselves or their work. To me those words seem so deep and powerful, it makes it sound as if we were called to do this work. I think that most of us just chose a job we thought we would like and we thought we would be good at. When I chose to become a nurse I thought it would be nice to help people and that I would really like the social interaction. It turns out that I do get to help people, and I enjoy it and really like the social interaction, but after you've been working as a nurse for a while something happens.
A lot of times it starts with a "thank you." A family member or patient will go out of their way to thank you. At first it catches you off guard, because you're not really sure what they are talking about. You wonder, why they are thanking me for doing my job? Slowly you start to realize the effect you can and often do have on people; not just your patients but their families and friends, too. You start to realize that these people are often going through the worst thing they have ever been through, and you were there all day or all night making sure they were safe and they had what they needed. It is just your job, but to them it was more than that. You helped them feel better, you helped them feel safe and you made it possible for their loved ones to take a break from caring for them.
Then, you start to get a better picture of what's going on. You see that people come back weeks, months and even years after they've been discharged. They bring in food, they bring in cards and sometimes they just come in to say hello, show you how well they are doing and give you a hug. Even if you don't remember them, they remember you. They remember your name, and if you told them about your wife and your kids or your favorite chewing gum, they remember that too. This is when you start to realize how profound and everlasting the effect you had on them was. This is when you start to get humbled, because you really were just doing your job. You didn't really mean to make such a deep impression on them but somehow you did and that is humbling.
That is why this profession is so great, because it will change you. It will give you perspective. These patients will make you appreciate your life and your family and your experiences and the world. Being a nurse will not make you a saint, but it will make you a little more grateful, a little kinder, and a little more understanding. So for me, even though I chose a profession I thought I would like, I really got a deal because I got a whole lot more than I thought I would.
Jonathan Henriquez Escobar, RN, ICU