Meet Lisa, an LPN; Masani, a CNA on her way to becoming an LVN; and Melissa, a nurse-turned respiratory therapist! They’re our CareerStaff Unlimited Clinicians of the Month for March 2021!
We’re proud of these amazing professionals, and we’re honored to have them on our team. We’re also thankful to every nurse, therapist, clinician and all the other clinical professionals working hard to provide patient care. You are appreciated!
For Lisa, an LPN who’s been working as a nurse for 20 years now, it’s safe to say that nursing isn’t just a job, but a lifelong passion. Yet, as she told us, it wasn’t always so clear — there were a few bumps along the way.
“I always had an interest in the healthcare field, though the point when I realized my true passion was after my divorce,” she said. “When I took a one-year break from nursing during my divorce, I missed being a nurse every single day.”
Since then, she’s learned just how important it is to keep that passion. “I feel like all healthcare professionals should know and realize that this is a profession you should choose because you truly have a passion,” she said. “It requires long hours,” she added, as well as working weekends and holidays, among other demands.
“Don’t go into this for the money, go into it to make a difference,” she said. “You really do make a difference in your patients’ lives, whether that be positive or negative.”
And that’s something that’s kept List going over her 20-year career. As the industry has shifted more and more to what Lisa sees as insurance-driven care, she’s responded by doing her best to keep patient care personal.
“I still strive to bring that personal touch to my patients in attempts to at least brighten their day,” she told us. “The inspirational part of healthcare for me is being able to make a difference and advocate for my patients. That sense of making a difference is what keeps me going.”
And for our part, we’re proud to be part of that, helping connect Lisa with meaningful career opportunities for the past year — a difficult one by any measure.
“Working at a local assisted living center during COVID, it was nice to be able form relationships with the staff and management and help them through this time of crisis,” she said of her recent CareerStaff assignment.
4 Quick Questions!
What’s the best part of your day? “If I am able to find some free time to interact with my patients and try to meet the needs that maybe have been pushed off.”
What’s the hardest part of your job? “When there is nothing you can do for a patient, whether that be pain that is uncontrolled or watching them die on hospice. After 20 years, that feeling of not being able to fix it still bothers me.”
What’s your favorite memory about being a nurse? “Getting to go through the nursing process with a child and her family as she recovered from an auto accident, and eventually was able to wean off the vent!”
What’s the personal accomplishment you’re most proud of? “Being able to say that I have worked full-time as an LPN while being a single mom and raising my daughter. I have home-schooled my daughter since the 2nd grade; she graduated at 16 years old last year and started college with a scholarship for cheer at a private college. I know I did my job right when she was a 4.0 student last semester and is now going to school to be a nurse practitioner!”
Working in California’s Central Valley, Masani is a young nursing professional who’s described as a hard worker by those around her — a quality that’s even more apparent as she balances work in the Covid unit with being a full-time student.
“I have always been interested in the medical field and dreamed of being a part of the field that does everything in their power to make sure the well-being of others is at a healthy state,” she told us.
“I have been blessed with the opportunity of meeting and working with healthcare professionals that have an impeccable character. Their character has inspired me even more to be in the healthcare field.”
She’s been a CNA for just a couple years, but has already seen the healthcare world turned upside down by the pandemic.
“The biggest change I’ve seen working as a clinician during the Covid-19 pandemic is the crucial shortage of nursing staff,” she said. “Skilled facilities are losing a lot of their employees due to the concerns of their life outside of work and who it would be affecting or putting at risk at home.”
She calls that the toughest part of the job — when a staff shortage means “we are given 25 patients. It is important to give assigned patients your attention and to observe them closely,” she explained. Nut with the number of assigned patients growing, “it is extremely hard to directly observe each patient throughout the shift and chart as well as perform ADL’s on each patient.”
Difficult as things have become, those challenges have only strengthened Masani’s resolve to continue her nursing education.
“I want to be a nurse to help patient’s get through the most vulnerable times and moments of their lives. Vulnerability is often mistaken for weakness, but it is nowhere close to being weak. Vulnerability is a sufficiently great measure of courage, because we show ourselves in situations that are out of our hands, that we just cannot control, and we rely on the help and comfort of others.”
That compassion and empathy she shares with patients are amazing qualities for a nurse to have. And they’re also the source of further inspiration.
“Watching positive progression with the patients is most inspirational to me at work,” she said. “Seeing them do more and more on their own, gaining their independence back is inspiring to not only the clinicians but the other patients as well.”
And how does she feel about her new assignment with CareerStaff?
“I have been working with CareerStaff for nearly two months, and I really enjoy the company! They have helped me step by step and always kept me updated.”
4 Quick Questions!
What’s your favorite memory about being a nurse? “I have many favorite memories about being a clinician, but one of my most memorable moments is back in 2019 at a skilled nursing facility when I saved my first life using CPR on a full code. Knowing that I helped a person sustain their life was such a remarkable feeling.”
What’s the best part of your day? “Knowing I will be part of a positive contribution in another person’s day, helping assist with their needs and encouraging them as well as listening to the stories they may have to tell.”
What personal accomplishment are you proudest of? “Going back to school for LVN and passing my NCLEX-PN test. The nursing program is an intense program that requires a lot of your time. It is not something you can lag in, procrastinate, or hold off once you start. Attendance is crucial; you must be punctual and attend each class because it WILL affect your grade and future career.”
Any other advice for aspiring nurses? “I believe that if you are on time you are late, and if you are early you are on time. Having this mindset has led me to be efficient in time management, which is vital for professionalism. Professionalism to me is promptness, knowing how to appropriately communicate, how one carries themselves, their attire, the ability to reason logically, good judgment and decision making, how one addresses difficult situations, the steps taken to determine the resolution, and having strong team skills.
“In nursing, professionalism is essential. You are always in a clinical setting following HIPAA guidelines and providing care for patients, providing information to physicians about the patient’s care, communicating amongst the appropriate staff for patient care, and dealing with the family of the patient’s. A nurse must acquit themselves exceptionally well, because they are seen as one of the most intelligent people, so it is a must and also crucial for them to know what they are doing.”
A respiratory therapist for more than 15 years now, Melissa has been working with CareerStaff since April 2019. Once the pandemic hit in March 2020, she jumped onto our crisis response team, and has been there ever since.
Currently on assignment in Ohio, Melissa’s recruiter told us that she always works over time, going above and beyond the call to work an average of 40 to 50 hours per week (when she’s only required to work 36).
“From the first time she and I spoke on the phone, I knew that she was an amazing clinician,” her recruiter added. “You can just tell the passion that she has for what she does by just talking to her … she deserves to be highlighted for her passion that she has for her field of work and also her work ethic. She has been nothing but a pleasure to work with and is an extremely hard worker. We are lucky to have her on our team!
For her part, Melissa said that she takes inspiration from her patients. She told us that “I always get attached to my patients’ progress and find that is the reason I get up and go to work every day!! Knowing that they are looking forward to getting home to their families and I am the one helping to make that happen!”
That’s what made her become a clinician in the first place. “I chose healthcare because I LOVE to help people,” she said. “I originally started in nursing but I knew I could make a bigger impact as a respiratory therapist.”
And more than 15 years later, Melissa’s impact is still changing lives. “My favorite memory is when I watched one of my first patients be extubated and walk out of the hospital a few days later, knowing that I had a MAJOR part in his recovery,” she said.
“I work in an LTACH setting now,” she added, “so the best part of my day is when I take my patient off of the vent for their daily weaning trial and I get to put their talking valve on their trach and hear them say ‘Good Morning’ to me. Most days it brings tears to my eyes.”
4 Quick Questions!
What’s the hardest part of your job? “The hardest part of my day is every day ever since this pandemic started!! Working with Covid patients is tricky. One day they are doing great and you think they are out of the woods, and the next time you see them, they have taken a turn for the worst. And often, you are the only person they have seen for months! And you are who they see when they take their last breath.”
Is there anything you’ve learned that you’d like to share with others? “What I have learned is ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE VETERAN THERAPISTS!!! They are the ones that have ‘been there and done that,’ and they know what’s up!”
What’s the personal accomplishment you’re most proud of? “My amazing and supportive family! I have always worked long hours and missed a lot of their sports or school functions, but they are the ones that are ALWAYS there giving me a hug when I get home from a long day. And pushing me to succeed!”
What’s your favorite nurse memory from your time with CareerStaff? “Not really a memory but an awesome person! Maria Travis has been with me the entire time!! Even when I left my great full time job and I felt I made the wrong decision Maria was right there encouraging me on. And because of her I LOVE the change in my career even more today!”
Are you interested in joining professionals like Melissa, Masani and Lisa in America’s leading staffing network for nurses and clinicians? We’ve always got great opportunities across the U.S.A. Learn more about the benefits of working with CareerStaff here, or start searching for a new job now!