Rewarding Careers in Nursing

We are currently seeking nurses and medial assistants to join our teams in our primary care clinics and all areas of the hospital.  Read our story about the day of an Oncology Nurse and the day of an MA in our series Behind the Mask.

Behind the mask of an oncology nurse

0730  Caffeinate! I review my patient assignments to prepare for an interdisciplinary team huddle.

0745  Nursing Team, Support Staff, Social Work, and Pharmacy discuss our patient census for the day. Our priority is patient care, and our focus is patient safety; we use this time to ask questions to be thoroughly prepared to provide the best care possible for each patient.

0815  My first patient is here for an allergy injection. After assessing the patient per physician orders, I administer their injection and monitor for a local or systemic reaction.

Read More0900   A warm welcome and compassion for the challenges to be faced by a patient and their loved ones here for their first day of chemotherapy help quell anxiety. Offering the patient a homemade quilt, crafted and donated by members of our community, helps, too. I educate my patient about what to expect on the first day of chemo, including potential reactions. As a care team, we complete a system-based physical assessment, a nutrition screening, and a distress screening to determine needs our social workers can address. This day is the beginning of an ongoing therapeutic relationship. I’ll see this patient weekly, every two weeks, or every three weeks for therapy. Oncology infusion nursing feels special in this way; we learn from and about our patients continuously.

0945  My next patient is here for a lab draw from their port-a-cath; I’m proud that my knowledge of aseptic technique and pain prevention keeps my patient safe from infection and comfortable during the procedure.

1030  My next patient is here daily for six weeks to treat a systemic infection with IV antibiotics. I assess for side effects, administer the medication, and provide the necessary once weekly PICC dressing change.

1130  Lunch! I report to our Resource RN, who cares for my patients during my break. I can refuel for my afternoon and share a laugh with the team in our breakroom.

1215  A patient is here for treatment for polycythemia vera. I establish an IV line and draw labs. Upon reviewing results, the protocol indicates the patient will need phlebotomy followed by IV fluid replacement. I manage their care to prevent discomfort, dizziness, and hypotension during and post-procedure.

1330  My next patient is here for cycle 7, day 1 of chemotherapy with Taxol and carboplatin to treat ovarian cancer. When it’s time to administer, I complete the chairside safety check with a second chemotherapy-trained nurse to ensure all ordered criteria are met and support the best patient outcomes. During the carboplatin infusion, my patient has a systemic reaction to the medication. After quickly stopping the medication, I press the staff emergency button, and the nursing team immediately surrounds us to help manage the patient’s reaction symptoms. I appreciate the debrief with the team and the responding advanced practice provider to determine what’s next in supporting this patient in returning to baseline.

1500  My final patient arrives for their allergy injection; however, I’m still working to support my patient through their chemotherapy reaction. I tell the charge RN that I need assistance in caring for the allergy patient. Teamwork is our first, last, and middle name in the Oncology and Infusion Clinic; I am always comfortable asking for help and offering help when needed. It takes everyone on the team to support our patients and each other.

1600  Before heading home at the end of my shift, I report on the remaining patients to nurses who will be staffing the clinic until we close at 1800.

Behind the mask of a medical assistant

MA Apprentice Program“I start my day at 7:30 am, and I go through every room to make sure they are ready when patients walk in. 7:45 is our huddle with nurses and providers. By 8:00 am, patients check in, so then I’m rooming patients, checking vitals, giving them vaccinations and sometimes a blood draw. I offer them a drink, a blanket and a pillow because some of our patients may stay for five hours – I don’t want them to be cold or hungry!

Then we clean and stock rooms to get them ready for the next patients. I also deliver to the lab, so I walk a lot – I probably walk 10 miles a day. We can be quite busy with the fast pace of inpatient oncology, but I like it. I really enjoy working with our patients and my coworkers.

Our department has strong teamwork and good communication. We call each other if we have concerns about patients, and we support each other. I feel support from staff and our providers too.

Read More For me, if you like what you are doing, joy will come from within you. It doesn’t matter what you do – nursing or housekeeping – joy and happiness will come from your feelings, and patients will see it.

The MA Apprentice program was a great opportunity. I like the way the program focuses on patient care. Not just learning in a school, but real, hands-on care with patients. I learn better this way than from a book! I’m lucky to have a really good teacher. I enjoy her support, and if I have any questions, I can just ask her directly. It’s really nice. One-on-one time with your teacher makes a big difference; every student in the program has that one-on-one support. They rotated us to go to different clinics, so I learned in a primary care clinic and women’s health, even in surgery. I learned a lot from this program, even though it’s only one year. You focus on what you are doing, and the time goes fast.

English is my second language, and in the beginning, it was hard to have perfect grammar when I wrote medical chart notes. It took me a while to figure it out, but I worked with my teacher and practiced and then it came quickly. When I moved over to the United States and took ESL to improve myself. Some people think to themselves, “I can’t work with people because I can’t speak English very well.” I would say to them, “Don’t give up! I know it’s hard but take your time, take it slow, and you can do it.”

I thank Jefferson Healthcare for giving me the opportunity to join the program. I really appreciate it!”

Benefits

We recognize the tremendous value of our employees through competitive pay and a unique package of flexible employee benefits. Our generous benefits package is rated in the top 1% in the state of Washington!  All regular full-time & part-time employees are eligible to be covered and benefits include:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Prescription Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Short Term Disability & Life/AD&D Insurance
  • Retirement Plan
  • Employee Assistance Program

It is the policy of Jefferson Healthcare to ensure equal opportunity without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, gender identity, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law.