Ericha Lowe had a variety of work experience outside of health care prior to joining Hillcrest Hospital Claremore as the staffing coordinator in October. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring nurse staffing levels in all departments of the hospital for the day and night shifts provide the right amount of coverage for patient care. Every day is different and presents new challenges. For Ericha, it is more than calling nurses and scheduling shifts. It is the first opportunity to really help patients. “I have always been interested in the medical field and having a role in patient care,” she says. “I have always wanted to help people.”
Though Ericha is new to health care, she is not necessarily new to Hillcrest Hospital Claremore. “I’ve had friends who have had their babies here,” she adds. “The hospital has a very family-like atmosphere. When I interviewed for this job, it was very comfortable.” Ericha interviewed with leaders of the hospital including the medical/surgical floor manager, emergency department manager and chief nursing officer. Those conversations gave her a good look at the culture of Hillcrest Hospital Claremore. “Everyone is friendly. It is, ‘What can I do for you?’ instead of ‘Here’s what I need you to do.”
Only a month into her role, Ericha says she is getting to know the nursing staff and leaders and that first impression from her interviews is still true today. “It is very loving and warm here,” she says. “I feel like I can talk to anyone – any of the managers or directors or staff nurses.” How Ericha has been welcomed as a new team member has helped her become confident in how to do her job well. “I feel like people are opening up to me, which is good. Sometimes I’m calling or texting night staff while they are asleep. They come in for me, because they know they’re helping someone else, who can’t be here for some reason.”
Finding a place you enjoy coming to work every day is a gift and one that Ericha does not take for granted. “My biggest thing is that when I wake up, I want to be eager to go to my job,” she explains. “That’s how I feel here. Everyone is smiling and says ‘good morning.’ This was a position to get my foot in the door. I feel there are ways I could move up if I wanted to go into nursing or go on to be a psychologist, which I have considered.”
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