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Erica's Story: RN at the Medical Innovation Unit

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Erica's Story: RN at the Medical Innovation Unit

Nursing is a profession that touches lives in profound ways. Those who choose a career in nursing accept a journey filled with dedication, compassion, and continuous learning.

Erica, Registered Nurse (RN) at Valley Health's Medical Innovation Unit (MIU) began her career right before the COVID-19 pandemic and explains how important and meaningful her work is.

Whether you're considering a healthcare career or simply curious about the work life of a nurse, check out these insights from Erica.

Q: What inspired you to become a nurse?

A: In high school, I took an anatomy class and fell in love with learning about the human body. I also enjoyed helping people, so nursing seemed like the perfect combination of both.

Q: How long have you been a nurse, and where did you receive your education?

A: I've been a nurse for four years now, and I received my education at Shenandoah University, which has a great nursing program. Interestingly, the majority of my clinicals during nursing school were right here at Valley Health.

Q: Can you explain what clinicals are, for those who may not be familiar?

A: Clinicals are a crucial part of nursing education. During these sessions, we spend about six hours on various hospital units, gaining hands-on experience in patient care, assessments, and developing essential nursing skills. It's a way for us to explore different units and see what nursing is really like.

Q: What led you to specialize in the Medical Innovation Unit (MIU)?

A: I initially applied to several units but chose 3East. Cardiac care, especially telemetry, challenged me the most during school. I had previous knowledge about lungs due to my lifelong asthma. Cardiology was intriguing because it pushed me to learn more, and I fell in love with it.

“When I was first starting out as an RN, I had a question and asked it to Dr. Alexander who happened to be walking by. Dr. Alexander stopped right there in the hallway and took the time to explain complex topics. He spent 20 minutes with another RN and me. That is one of the moments as a new RN that sticks out to me that I’ll never forget because of his kindness and the care of the whole team at Valley Health. It really symbolizes the collaborative culture we have here.” -Erica

Q: What is the Medical Innovation Unit like?

A: I really enjoy it. We have a multidisciplinary team and involve patients in their care, provide discharge planning from day one, and ensure everyone knows the plan. We anticipate needs early, and our close communication streamlines patient care. The doctors are knowledgeable and respect our expertise, which makes for a great working relationship.

Q: What do you love most about working on your unit?

A: Our unit fosters a sense of community and teamwork. We genuinely support each other, and that's something we prioritize. Nursing is all about teamwork, and Valley Health understands that. As our unit has grown, we've kept fostering a sense of community to make sure that we are all supportive of each other.

Whether you're a recent graduate or an experienced Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) seeking to become an Registered Nurse (RN), Valley Health welcomes you to be a part of its thriving nursing community.

Join us on the path to nursing excellence – your journey begins here. Click to search for your next opportunity.