Finding the Perfect Environment Was Critical to My Career Development
by Dee Drake, BSN, CCRN
Certified Critical Care Nurse, Cath Lab
Methodist Dallas Medical Center
Looking for the perfect nursing environment? A place you can call home? Dee Drake, BSN, CCRN, found that at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, and today she is a CCRN in the cath lab. Dee tells us what she learned and how others mentored and influenced her over the years.
Q: Tell us about your career path?
A: After I graduated from nursing school, I was fortunate to secure a critical care nurse internship in the CCU at Methodist Dallas. I was surrounded by wonderful, nurturing professionals who helped me develop my nursing and critical thinking skills. After 10 years in the CCU, I left to take a management position at a long-term care facility. Although I enjoyed and learned much from the experience, it wasn’t the best fit for me at that time. After a few years, a friend who was the manager in the CCU at Methodist Dallas offered me a nursing position. I eagerly accepted her offer and returned to CCU on the night shift. After four very satisfying years, it was time to conquer new challenges. I decided I wanted to work in the cath lab, so in preparation, I took and passed the CCRN exam. Then, when a nursing position opened in the cath lab at Methodist, I applied and got the job.
Q: What does your job entail?
A: I take care of cardiovascular patients during their procedures in the cath and EP labs. I am also a member of the STEMI call team. STEMI is an abbreviation for ST elevation myocardial infarction — these are patients who are in the midst of having a heart attack. I find my job to be an ideal mix of applying my critical care nursing experience and delivering specialized care to cardiovascular patients in a fast-paced, energetic environment. I’m passionate about taking care of patients, but also love working with the tremendous bunch of professionals who have become my friends and family. We are a great team.
Q: Why do you consider Methodist Dallas home?
A: After several years at Methodist Dallas, I decided to try working in another hospital’s cath lab for a while. Maybe the grass was greener? It wasn’t. I quickly returned to Methodist Dallas. This is home for me. Here, the culture is better than anywhere else. I’ve never forgotten how nurturing this hospital was to me when I was just out of school. Today, I realize how fortunate I was to be in that environment, how special and uncommon it is. Now I strive to promote the culture of Methodist by supporting and teaching new nurses. I am proud to work here. We deliver excellent care to our patients, and we have fun doing it. I’m free to be my own person, and I enjoy the diversity of the staff. We’re very accepting of others, and we embrace our differences. I call it the St. Elsewhere feeling. It’s home — what else can I say?
Q: What was the most important thing a mentor told you?
A: Two things stand out. First, take care of yourself — give yourself some of the compassion you give others. Second, remember why you are here — to take care of patients. You have to have your heart in it every day. The culture at Methodist Dallas really encourages you to care for yourself as well as others. Plus you’re surrounded by compassionate caregivers who continually support you in your efforts to put the patient at the center of everything you do.
Q: What would you tell a new nurse to ensure a successful career path?
A: Follow your heart. Treat people with respect and kindness. Most of all, believe in what you’re doing. Find a nurturing environment like Methodist Dallas where you are welcomed and supported.
Q: Why do you stay at Methodist Dallas?
A: I feel appreciated here, by staff, physicians, and most important, by patients. They truly appreciate the care we give them.
If you’ve been searching for the perfect fit for your career, consider Methodist Health System. Visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSytem.org.
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