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Terms in this set (16)
To fulfill President Lincoln's promise "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.
5 Core Values
Act with high moral principle. Adhere to the highest professional standards. Maintain the trust and confidence of all with whom I engage.
Work diligently to serve Veterans and other beneficiaries. Be driven by an earnest belief in VA's mission. Fulfill my individual responsibilities and organizational responsibilities.
Be truly Veteran-centric by identifying, fully considering, and appropriately advancing the interests of Veterans and other beneficiaries.
Treat all those I serve and with whom I work with dignity and respect. Show respect to earn it.
Strive for the highest quality and continuous improvement. Be thoughtful and decisive in leadership, accountable for my actions, willing to admit mistakes, and rigorous in correcting them.
What do you know about our department?
I know that the VAPAHCS system consists of 3 inpatient facilities as well as 7 outlying outpatient clinics. I know that the VA is dedicated to providing health care to veterans and their beneficiaries. They are the largest federal organization below the DoD. They have research programs and are affiliated with Stanford school of medicine.
Tell me about yourself?
First off, I just want to say how happy I am that you've put on this Meet & Greet event and that I'm able to be here today. I am a mother of two daughters (3&6) and a Coast Guard veteran. In the Coast Guard I was a Health Services Technician where I worked on a ship as well as a large outpatient clinic taking care of active duty Coastguardsmen. While on the ship I was part of a two person Medical Training Team. While we were underway we regularly did training with the entire crew to practice emergency medical drills at sea. I got out of the CG right before my 6 year old was born and while I was a stay at home mom, I found a passion for car seat safety which lead me to volunteering with a county organization doing free car seat checks for families in the community. I earned my Associates Degree in May at a college in Florida. I loved my time in the CG and I think joining the VA as a nurse and as a veteran would be a really special opportunity and I think I'd make a great addition to your team.
My first exposure to working with veterans was while working at the Coast Guard Alameda Clinic. Retirees often frequented our building to utilize the pharmacy and optometry clinic. For several months I worked with the optometrist, checking in patients for her and doing initial eye exams. During that time I got to know many of the veterans and enjoyed hearing their stories that they loved to share. Out of all the patient populations I've worked with through nursing school - This was the one that I wanted to come back to.
What does the mission mean to you?
What I think of when I read the VA mission is that every veteran put their lives at risk, and their spouses and children made the ultimate sacrifice. The VA exists to care for them - for life. Working for the VA would be a great way to show gratitude to these people who have put everything on the line for our country.
What are your goals?
My main goal is to become a competent, independent nurse that takes amazing care of my patients and gets through the transition of being a new grad successfully. I think starting in a med-surg unit really helps make a well-rounded nurse. My ultimate goal is to either become an ICU or ED nurse but I lean more toward the idea of ICU because I love attention to detail and can be very methodical about my work. I'm really happy to start wherever the VA has a need for a nurse. 1 year, 3 year, 5 year: celebrating my anniversary on your unit. I'm sure the time will fly by. In one year I see myself having my annual review with my manager.
Tell us about preceptorship?
My preceptorship was in the PACU at Lower Keys Medical Center which is a somewhat rural, small hospital in Key West, Florida. They are about 160 miles south of Miami so patients with higher acuity are flown to Miami. I enjoyed recovering patients while shadowing my preceptor. It was interesting to see how differently people woke up from anesthesia. One of the lesson's I took away from this was how dynamic people's illness and recovery can be. I took comfort in knowing that we provided them appropriate pain relief which started their healing process off right. I loved my preceptorship experience. I'm really feeling like a medical surgical unit is where I see myself. I think there is a lot to learn and do there.
What are your strengths & weaknesses?
My strengths are that I remember processes and procedures very well. My PACU preceptor was constantly impressed that I take in new information really well, don't get overwhelmed, and seek out new learning opportunities. I also am a proactive person, I anticipate needs, it's just the way my brain works. It's the way I am in my personal life as well as my professional life. I don't hesitate to help coworkers or try and stay one step ahead in knowing what the unit needs.
I like to think of a weakness as an area of improvement. One area of improvement is patient education. Sometimes I feel a little shakey with finding the right words or expressing a teaching point clearly and I recognize that that's a question of practice and experience. That is something that I would really prioritize. It would be one of my goals to make progress on because I think it's an important part of what we do.
What are some things you most enjoy about nursing?
I am a Coast Guard veteran and the Coast Guard's motto is "Semper Paratus" which means "Always Ready". This motto has translated into my attitude towards nursing because I know that the more I learn, the more ready I will be for any situation. One reason why I decided to go into the healthcare field is when I learned of the bystander effect. I couldn't believe that in many emergency situations, people just stood back and didn't help because they simply didn't know what to do. I couldn't ever fathom somebody losing their life because I didn't know what to do. When I was in the Coast Guard I helped teach several CPR classes. One class in particular had two young men that ended up using their CPR skills the following weekend and saved a young boy from drowning in a river.
How would friends/family describe you?
My friends and family would probably say that I am a very positive person. I was thrown some curve balls during nursing school. One of them was Hurricane Irma. My house was severely damaged by the hurricane right after my first semester of nursing school began. With that came many difficulties that affected my family and I on a day to day basis for over a year. I was able to persevere and get through it while maintaining a positive attitude. I honestly like to say that I find the silver lining in every situation that I'm confronted with.
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