Holiday Plans!

Now that November is coming to a close it is officially my favorite time of the year! I love October – November, but I especially love the weeks leading up to Christmas.

For Thanksgiving, I have both Thanksgiving day and the Friday after off work. I’m really glad I also have Friday off so that I can enjoy a long weekend of relaxing. I am planning on spending my Thanksgiving at my boyfriend’s family ranch like I did last year. This year, however, I am also planning to bring along my friend from work! She hasn’t visited the ranch yet and I’m excited to share it with her.

After Thanksgiving I only have two weeks of my residency left! I really can’t believe how quickly time has passed. I am going to be very sad to leave after spending so much time getting to know a wonderful group of people. It has been a lot of fun and has also been a wonderful learning experience for me. I am excited to go back to school and graduate in May, but it’s definitely going to be hard to leave!

After my last day, I am planning to head back up to Ohio to spend some time with my family. I don’t have any set plans for Christmas, but I am looking forward to having one last long Christmas break where I can spend a good chunk of time at home with my family and friends. I should be able to spend several weeks at home before heading back to Texas to begin my last semester of classes at Baylor! Its been a great journey so far and I’m looking forward to finishing my MBA and beginning the next chapter of my life next summer.

Erin

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Thanksgiving at Lake Pointe

In order to thank employees, my hospital both gives away turkeys to employees around. Thanksgiving time and also holds a free Thanksgiving meal.

This week vouchers for the turkeys were given away and the free lunch was held. Since lunch was free and staff members were serving-I obviously had to check it out and sample some of the delicious food. We were all given a complete thanksgiving meal with turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed sweet potatoes, cranberry, and pumpkin or pecan pie to enjoy. The whole meal was delicious, but it wasn’t what I enjoyed most about the meal.

I loved seeing employees coming down to the café, grabbing a meal and enjoying each other’s company. It was great to see that caring for its employees is a priority of the hospital. I certainly care about valuing people for their hard work, so it was a wonderful event for everyone involved.

In addition to having staff members serve food, our CEO and COO also spent time in the café talking with employees and thanking them for their hard work. I hope to always make sure I find ways to value employees throughout my career. I’m lucky to have spent my residency at a hospital that makes doing so a priority.

Erin

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Dallas

Now that my residency is coming to an end, I’m beginning to plan when I’ll move back to Waco to begin my last semester of Business School.

Although I’m looking forward to seeing my classmates, I’ll be sad to leave Dallas.  I’ve grown to enjoy the city and have tons left to explore. Needless to say, I hope to come back after graduation and have more time to try out new places in the city.

One thing that I love about the city is that there is something for everyone. Depending upon what you’re interests are there are different areas of the city to enjoy and explore. I’ve enjoyed checking out most of then, but admittedly have not done much exploring as of late. My hope is to come back to the city after graduation, work, and hopefully live closer to downtown than I currently do.

Either way, I am definitely planning on spending at least SOME time in Dallas next year-since a group of my close friends are coming to visit and go to a concert here!!! It’s going to be a lot of fun to have my friends visit Texas, show them around, and have a wonderful time together. Although it’s hard to move away from close friends after college it is a LOT of fun to be able to visit each other in fun cities! I know we’re going to have many adventures to come as well!

Erin

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Ranch Weekend

Coming back from Orlando, it was a little tough for me to get back into the swing of things at work. By mid-week I was back into my groove.

Even after finishing the week off strong, I wanted a little time to relax and enjoy my weekend away from work. My boyfriend and I decided to head to his family ranch for the weekend to enjoy the outdoors, hike around, and let our dog run out all of her energy.

Overall it was a great weekend! One of my favorite things about the ranch is that I can take naps outside…when else do you get to do that?! I have often found myself asleep outdoors there, taking a quick nap and enjoying the breeze. The weekend was beautiful for enjoying time outside and we had a nice time away from the city.

In addition to enjoying the outdoors, we also were able to take my boyfriend’s Grandma out to dinner. I haven’t ventured into town much when we visit the ranch, so it was neat to visit a local restaurant and take his Grandma out. I do not get to see my family very often, so it was a treat to be able to spend a nice dinner with his Grandma and enjoy our weekend off.

Erin

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Community Paramedics Project-First Patient!

For my final project I have been helping out with the development of a Community Paramedics Program.

Over the past few months I sat in on many sub-committee meetings, watched the development of the program in terms of form development, process development, and have had the opportunity to contribute in terms of developing several metrics through which the hospital will monitor the program’s results. I am still helping to tie up this portion of the project and will likely end my project with a good portion of time dedicated to this.

After spending so much time sitting in on meetings and helping out the program, I have become very invested in the program and excited about its potential to impact community members. This week the program was finally launched and the first patient was enrolled into the program.

The program is designed to help the hospital partner with patients as they return to their homes following the receipt of care. To do this, community paramedics meeting enrolled patients prior to their discharge and then follow-up with home visits upon the return to their homes. This allows the paramedics to evaluate the safety of the home, help with obtaining prescriptions, help with setting up PCP visits, and with other healthcare needs.

I am a big advocate of population health initiatives and truly believe that this program has the potential to help many people.The plan is to hopefully expand the project following its initial pilot period!

Erin

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Registration & End of Residency Scheduling

My classmates and I recently registered for spring classes and also set up times for our presentations before taking a few weeks off over Christmas break.

It feels like just yesterday that I was beginning IMS classes and starting my MBA at Baylor and now I only have a little bit more than a semester to go!

With only a little over a month left in my residency, I’m excited to finish up my contribution to my final project and spend the rest of my time helping out and continuing to learn. One of the biggest lessons (and most confusing) that I have taken away from my residency is that while lots of things are interesting to me, only a few are motivating.

I am typically a very curious person. I love to learn, enjoy being in school (most of the time), and am genuinely interested in almost every learning opportunity that presents something new to me. What I’ve found, however, is that only a few things that really capture my interests are able to keep me motivated. Many of the other things I was initially interested in become less intriguing and, to some extent, dull. I think one of my challenges going forward in my career is going to be finding opportunities that keep me mentally engaged in what I am working on.

I am incredibly excited and passionate about healthcare and working in healthcare,  just a little nervous about paving my way after graduation. Being motivated and mentally engaged and curious about what I am working on is very important for my personal happiness. Going through my residency has helped me to learn a great deal about where my interests in healthcare lie and about what I need to look for in my long-term career goals.

Erin

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Orlando Trip!

This weekend I was able to make the trip to Orlando, FL to meet up with a few of my friends. I left after work on Wednesday and flew to Orlando to be greeted by two of my very best friends (and sorority sisters) at the airport.

Although I have enjoyed my time thus far in Texas, I do miss Orlando and always look forward to visits! I was especially excited because we were able to go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I flew to Orlando last October as well to go to the event, so I was thrilled to be able to continue the tradition!

In addition to my stop at Disney, I also spent a day with my friend at Universal Studios and saw the new Harry Potter Expansion. It totally blew away my expectations! It was absolutely wonderful.

One of the main highlights of my trip, however, was being able to see a bunch of people in orlando that I haven’t seen in a long while. Some of them I hadn’t seen since I graduated a year and a half ago! I also was able to meet the newest member of my sorority family and catch up with other sisters.

It has been a wonderful long weekend!

Erin

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Contract Project-Progress!

Over the past few weeks I have been spending time going through contracts for a second hospital to identify possible cost savings.

After reviewing the list with the administrative team, we have several targets that we want to focus on first to help the hospital save money. It has been interesting for me to see the steps involved with a hospital being acquired and what changes are necessary for them to make. Part of the changes that are necessary for this hospital are for them to get their financials in order and to organize ongoing contracts so that the admin team can know what the hospital is actually paying for!

To get started the COO and I met with a Director who is helping the hospital to obtain corporate pricing. We talked about contracts that we want to check and see if the hospital is obtaining the correct pricing as well as others that we want to look in to alternative options.

Overall the project has been a great learning opportunity for me and I think I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to see the aftermath of an acquisition and to have been able to spend time at multiple hospital

Erin

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Ebola Response

Recently the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States occcured in Dallas. Although I am not working at the hospital where the patient was diagnosed and cared for, I am working at a hospital just outside of the city. After news of the diagnosis broke, people throughout the city began to express fear of contracting the virus.

Although no one wants to have to respond to the threat of a contagious virus, it has been a very interesting experience for me to see how my hospital has reponded to the news and how the CDC has worked with hospitals throughout Dallas to help us prepare in the rare chance a patient with Ebola comes to us in need of care.

One way my hospital has responded is to help educate employees on proper PPE in caring for patients in an isolation setting. Many media sources speculate that care givers most often contract the virus when removing their PPE, rather than while directly preparing care. In addition to this, the hospital also provided additional training to employees to help them feel confident about their ability to safely care for patients.

I have learned from living through this process that as important as it is to provide optimal care to patients, healthcare organizations must also care for their employees. By equipping  employees with the right tools and knowledge to care for their patients, they will continue coming to work and will feel confident in their ability to care for all patients who come through their doors.

Erin

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Ranch Visit

As much as I enjoy living in Dallas, I do miss spending time outdoors. My boyfriend’s family has a cattle ranch about two and a half hours away from Dallas.

Although we used to make ranch visits fairly frequently when we were both in Waco, it’s been harder to make the trip down since he’s returned to school and I’ve been busy with work. We finally had the chance to head down this weekend and also decided to bring our golden retriever, Tonks, for her first visit to the ranch.

Normally on ranch visits we spend time hiking around, have campfires and relax. Since we were bringing our pup, we weren’t sure how much of our norm we would have. Although Tonks is pretty good inside, she is highly reactive outside when on a leash. We ended up deciding to let her off leash to see how she would do and aside from badgering a few cows, she was great! She had a wonderful time running around and even swam in one of the small lakes at the ranch.

We ended up being able to end our trip with a bonfire that night and roasted some hot dogs and marshmallows. I’ve really grown to love ranch visits and definitely want to work on making the trip there more often! There is just something wonderful about getting away from the city for a few days and enjoying being outside.

Erin

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