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Debbie Fishback: An LPN's Story of Thriving in a New Role with the Support of a Caring Team

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Debbie Fishback: An LPN's Story of Thriving in a New Role with the Support of a Caring Team

In the vast landscape of health care, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) like Debbie Fishback play an integral role in ensuring the well-being of patients. With over 17 years of experience in rehab and long-term care, Debbie's career took an unexpected turn in 2021. Today we explore Debbie's path as an LPN in the acute care setting at Winchester Medical Center's Medical Innovation Unit.

Embracing Change and Growth

Throughout her career, Valley Health has been a source of stability and support for Debbie. The sale of Lynn Care Center in 2021 meant an opportunity to pivot to a new care setting. Debbie knew she wanted to stay with Valley Health for the remainder of her career and decided to explore a new care setting. At the time, LPNs were limited to Home Health or Urgent Care, both unfamiliar territories to Debbie who previously cared for the senior community. She faced the daunting task of reinventing her career path by entering into the world of acute care.

Experiential Learning and Mentorship

Changes in life present learning curves. Debbie quickly adapted to a new setting and worked alongside younger colleagues with fresh knowledge. At 57, she embraced the challenge with an open mind and discovered the joy of continuous learning. With a strong foundation in biology and chemistry from her 20-year career as a veterinary tech, Debbie saw becoming an acute care nurse as an opportunity to learn something new, something she is no stranger to.

Eventually, Debbie found herself in the Medical Innovation Unit at Valley Health, a dynamic and fast-paced setting. There are a few differences in the level of autonomy between an RN and LPN, such as the initial admittance process; however, the unit's supportive environment and an ideal patient-to-nurse ratio of five to one provided Debbie with the assistance and guidance she needed to excel in her role.

"Switching to the Medical Innovation Unit in acute care was one of the best decisions of my career. Despite my initial apprehension, I enjoy the challenging environment and team I work with. I have all the support I need to succeed and care for our patients."

-Debbie Fishback, LPN

The Value of Support and Flexibility

At Valley Health, Debbie encountered overwhelming support through an array of healthcare professionals including charge nurses, med techs, CNAs, lab professionals, doctors and her clinical case manager, Joshua Needy. The support and availability of these colleagues helped Debbie feel confident in her ability to provide quality patient care in a new setting. Moreover, the hospital's willingness to accommodate her schedule and family responsibilities allowed her to balance work and personal life effectively.

“Debbie is a great addition to our team. I’ve seen her help colleagues establish IVs and work closely with our doctors on patient care. LPNs have so much to offer our healthcare system and Debbie is a great example.”

-Joshua Needy, Clinical Nurse Manager, 4SW: Medical Innovation Unit

Debbie's story inspires all healthcare professionals who seek to make a difference in patients' lives while finding personal fulfillment in their work. Debbie advises aspiring healthcare professionals: Embrace change, invest in your education, and be open to new challenges.

Valley Health is adding LPNs to our team of caregivers in multiple locations. We offer industry-leading sign-on bonuses and incredible benefits. Apply today