Medical Surgical Nurse
After working for years in banking and finance, Tammy, RN, did something she always wanted to do. She became a nurse.
The daughter of a nurse’s aide, Tammy “back-burnered” her dream of becoming a nurse, got married and had two children before she decided it was time “go where my heart wanted me to be.”
She went back to school full-time and earned her associate’s degree in nursing at Laboure College. Then the Randolph resident became a medical-surgical nurse at South Shore Hospital in 2001. She never looked back.
“I love it,” Tammy says of the hospital’s medical-surgical units, where she relishes her role as a caregiver to patients and a mentor to students and new grads. “I view med-surg nursing as essential. If you can’t tell me what’s going on with a bowel or a lung, then you can’t take care of patients.”
Tammy’s skills at nursing and teaching have not gone unnoticed by her colleagues. Kelly Fitzpatrick, RN, the hospital’s medical-surgical clinical nurse specialist, encouraged Tammy to pursue advanced training.
Tammy says that the knowledge she gained while pursuing her med-surg certification is something she uses – and teaches others – every day.
“I’m a resource,” she says. “People come to me for assistance with dressing changes, adjusting tubing, administering medications, listening for bowel sounds, you name it.” To keep up her certification, Tammy is committed to earning 120 continuing education units every four years.
Tammy also actively participates in Shared Governance at South Shore Hospital, a forum that gives nurses a voice in decisions about how to care for patients. Tammy has also been recruited to help the hospital advance the care that is provided to patients with complex wounds.
Tammy is pleased with her career at South Shore Hospital and is happy she chose it over working at a Boston Hospital. “It was easier for me to get here and be closer to home,” she says, echoing the view of many nurses at South Shore. “When I broke it all down with paying for parking and more time on the road, it made more sense to come here.”
She’s also been impressed by leadership’s interest in her and her professional development. “Upper management listens to what the staff has to say,” she says.
Tammy knows she isn’t finished with her education. “I’m happy where I am, but always thinking of where I want to go,” says Tammy. She’s considering enrolling in the RN-to-MS program at Simmons once her husband has finished earning his MBA.
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