UPMC Hamot

What is the name of the company you work for? UPMC Hamot

What does this company do? UPMC Hamot is a 423 bed hospital in Erie, Pa offering a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services, and serves as a regional referral hub and Level II Trauma Center.  We have superior health care services and are continually recognized by notable accrediting bodies.

What is your job title? Certified in-patient wound and ostomy registered nurse, (BSN, RN, CWON). 

Describe your day to day job/work related tasks and activities. I arrive at work and organize our patient list.  Either myself or one of my other 3 colleagues prints this list and we sort out who is going to see who that day.  Some patients we need to see daily and others just once or twice a week.  On a typical day we see around 45-60 people in the hospital.  We are also educating bedside nurses about wound care and other various tasks. 

What are the best things about your career? The best thing about my career is the connections I make with patients as an wound/ostomy nurse I am able to help patients through a life changing condition.  I also like the connections I make with my fellow co-workers from all aspects of the organization. 

What are the challenges faced in your career? The hospital has become a very busy place.  UPMC Hamot has one of the highest admission rates in the area.  I would like to be able to spend more time with each patient, but our time is limited.  Figuring out what the best course of action for patients with certain insurances is an obstacle as well. 

What’s your educational background?  My educational background was done in steps.  I went back to school as an adult student to become an associate Registered Nurse.  After I worked at UPMC Hamot for a few months I decided to obtain my Bachelors Science in Nursing.  I obtained that while working full time and going to school full time.  UPMC Hamot was able to work around my school schedule.  During that time of obtaining my bachelors degree I was able to spend some time with the Wound / Ostomy nurses and really found I had a passion for this specialty. 

What has led you to your current career? After obtaining my bachelor’s degree I was able to get my certification for Wound / Ostomy.  Only 6 schools in the country offer this degree.  I obtained my degree from the Cleveland Clinic R.B. Turnbull, Jr. MD School.  It took me approximately a year to obtain this degree with school time, clinical time, and testing time.  After obtaining this degree I worked at the outpatient UPMC Hamot wound clinic until I was hired as an inpatient wound / ostomy nurse.  Where I was able to utilize my ostomy education.

What qualities are important for you to hold the position you have? In my position you must be a self-starter.  You need to be able to prioritize, for instance some patients need pain medications prior to dressing changes. You need to be able to organize your day to fit in all your patients and tasks.   Attention to detail is a good asset to have as well.  Orders need to be put in to the system, discharge instructions written, and education to patients need to be done.  I believe you need to have compassion as many of our patients with wounds/ostomies are very sick.  A lot of these patients are still coming to terms with their condition’s which may be long term condition’s.

How do you prepare for an interview (if not in a position to hire) I research the company if any questions are asked about the company.  For instance, UPMC Hamot’s mission is to serve its patients, communities, and one another in the UPMC Hamot tradition of quality, health, healing, and education.  Another thing I do to prepare for an interview is by reviewing my resume and all my previous jobs. I want to make sure I know what is on that resume if asked.  I do think of strengths and weakness I may need to work on.  I research the top 10 questions interviewers may ask.  Even if those questions aren’t asked you are preparing yourself for what may be asked.  This will help you be more prepared and more comfortable during your interview because you will be ready for a variety of questions.

What size company do you work for? UPMC Hamot is supported by a 300-member medical staff and nearly 3000 dedicated employees.

Does the size of your employer make a difference to you, if so how? It doesn’t really make a difference to me.  There are good employers that only have a few employees and good employers that have hundreds of employers.

What would people be surprised to know about your career? In general as registered nurse you have so many directions you can take your career.  Inpatient hospital nursing, doctor’s offices, re-habilitations, home health care nursing, nursing management.  So many different avenues are available and these are just a few.  As a wound/ostomy nurse I am more involved with education than I thought I would be.  We educate on a daily whether it is a bedside nurse, a patient, or a student it is an ongoing process.  Our creative side comes out to figure out how to make a dressing or ostomy appliance fit.    


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UPMC Hamot

What is the name of the company you work for? UPMC Hamot What does this company do? UPMC Hamot is a 423 bed hospital in Erie, Pa offering a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services, and serves as a regional referral hub and Level II Trauma Center.  We have superior health care services and … Continue reading “UPMC Hamot”

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