Look for the Helpers: Building a Culture of Innovation in Nursing
by XSOLIS Insights, on May 12, 2022 8:00:00 AM
Nurses play an integral role as change agents with XSOLIS customers and products
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” ― Fred Rogers
Nurses are the helpers who have ushered patients and communities through some of the most challenging times – exhibiting grit in the face of adversity, a calming force in the midst of chaos, or radiating warmth and compassion to brighten a patient’s day.
Many of XSOLIS’ technology users are nurses or hospital administrators who were previously nurses at the bedside. XSOLIS nurse customers are also change leaders – building a culture of innovation in nursing – always looking for better ways to do their job, and they are often early adopters of technology to empower teams with more time for patient care and greater job satisfaction.
As XSOLIS continues to grow, more than 18% of our workforce includes nurses from a variety of nursing specialty backgrounds. Six of XSOLIS’ nurse employees share their past journeys as nurse leaders, and how they are helping their former selves to implement XSOLIS solutions to create positive change.
Amanda Lee Westbrook, BSN, RN, CBC, Clinical Application Training Specialist at XSOLIS, helped open a new hospital facility before she transitioned to mother/baby charge nurse and preceptor roles, which she found particularly fulfilling:
“The OB specialty is so rewarding because you get to impact new life and help new parents learn the new dynamic of their lives. I loved that I could potentially be helping the next future president.”
A long hospitalization for an illness prompted her to change her major and career track from M.D. to nursing. “When I was vulnerable and sick, the nursing staff changed my life and mindset in a way they probably never knew. I wanted to become a nurse and make an impact on someone else’s life in the same way they did for me.”
Carol Schultz, BSN, RN, ACM-RN, Senior Clinical Engagement Consultant with XSOLIS, has been a nurse for around 25 years, in telemetry, ICU, ER, surgery, and case management. “The years I spent at the bedside prepared me well for the years in case management and broadened my understanding of the overall patient experience and how the hospital is reimbursed for services,” she said.
“Whereas I initially wanted to become a doctor, I decided to have a family at a young age instead. Nursing has exceeded my expectations, and the satisfaction I get from helping others is amazing.” To Carol, the most rewarding aspects are the “little things, not just saving a life, but putting a smile on a patient’s face or their family’s.”
Erica Hitchens, MBA, BSN, RN, PMI-ACP, Senior Product Owner with XSOLIS, worked her way through nursing school, starting as a nursing assistant while a senior in high school. Her passion was geriatrics, and she eventually became a case manager in the home health industry. “About 13 years ago, I moved into the dark side of nursing (auditing), but there isn’t much I have not personally encountered, which allows me to help our customers as they navigate anything that comes their way along the healthcare spectrum,” she said. “On a poster in kindergarten, I announced I was going to be a nurse, and that was the end of that.”
She describes the best part of being a nurse as utilizing her “intuitiveness, accumulated skills, strong personal discipline, calm nature and faith to help people who are hurting.”
“I try to support our customers with any guidance they may need, even if it is just recognizing a rough week and offering a kind word, along with answering any work-related questions they may have about our crazy intricate healthcare world. The front lines are a tough job.”
Janine Terry, MSN, RN, ACNP, Clinical Informaticist with XSOLIS, is the eighth nurse in her family. Try as she might to choose a different path – she started her career as a production assistant for touring recording artists – nursing chose her. Janine went back to school for a career with more longevity, earning her RN, and eventual NP degree, working in liver transplant and hepatology. A post-master’s degree in healthcare informatics allowed her to transition to the other side of improving patient care – behind the scenes using technology. “My grandmother inspired me most to become a nurse, because she went to nursing school at age 50, once all of her children were raised, to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse.”
Janine particularly enjoyed patient education and lived for the “a-ha” moments when her patients truly understood what she was teaching them. “I believe that by educating patients, we are empowering them to take control of their health and be advocates for their health.” Similarly, she loves working with her XSOLIS team who has varied medical backgrounds, to drive innovation in nursing. “I am constantly learning something new from them,” she says of her colleagues.
Kim Brownlow, BSN, RN, Senior Clinical Best Practices Consultant with XSOLIS, celebrated 30 years in nursing in 2022 – working in NICU, ICU, rehab, behavioral health, home health, utilization review and case management. She loves advising XSOLIS customers on decisions that will improve their daily work lives and, most of all, the lives of their patients. “I wanted to have a career that was fulfilling to me where I could also make a difference for someone else,” she said.
“I have had patients and families greet me out in the community, and they put a smile on my face when they recall me taking care of them or a family member. They may not remember my name, but they do remember the compassion and kindness I showed.”
Her path to XSOLIS has appealed to her altruistic nature in a different way: it allows her to put on a consultant hat in an innovative space.
“Sharing a new and more efficient way of doing things with those who impact patients’ lives is very rewarding.”
Denise Rezny, MSN, RN, Appeals Nurse Coordinator with XSOLIS, graduated from nursing school 48 years ago and received her NA, LPN, BSN and MSN degrees before she was done with schooling in 2004. She assisted with surgical procedures for a decade before being asked to teach the OB department how to assist with cesarean sections, which she spent 20 years doing.
When Denise's mother was diagnosed with cancer (pictured together at right), she took time off to assist her through treatments and recovery. “Each chapter has brought different rewards for me: easing fears of scared patients going into surgery, the joy of seeing new life come into the world as an OB nurse, and then helping my mom. Seeing her resiliency during cancer treatment and recovery made me glad to be a nurse, and she gave me strength to handle whatever is thrown my way.” Of the last couple of years, she adds, “Nursing is facing so many challenges now, and it's important to support others who want to advance their careers to learn solutions to new challenges.”
As Kim summarized it best: “The pandemic placed demands on the nursing profession that will change it forever.” But one constant is that nurses are our helpers. May we never take their bravery, commitment, or service for granted.