There are hundreds of nurses working in dozens of specialties representing going that extra mile at Community Medical Centers.
These women are not your average nurses, they’re board certified.
“The reason it’s very important is, it affirms that nurses knowledge in that specialty of nursing. And contributes significantly to safety and quality of care for our patients,” says Bonnie Brock, assistant chief nursing officer.
Getting that certification requires a certain number of hours working in a specialized field, ongoing education, then passing a detailed, challenging exam through the State of California.
“It’s invaluable. Having it allows us to continue to not only provide superior patient care, but they’re able to impart that knowledge to their fellow nurses and raise the competency of everyone in the unit, together,” Brock says.
Carey Neihoff, certified bariatric nurse, agrees. “I just thought it was important to continue my education, and make sure I have that extra certification to show that I’m proud. That’s the population I work with, it’s good to have, you learn all of these extra things,” she says.
Over at Fresno Heart and Surgical, Niehoff says, that “c” in her title carries another level of trust in her bariatric skillset.
“When they come in, I can almost recognize and identify, even predict what the doctors are going to order,” she explains.
Certification is not required for employment at community medical centers, so when a nurse achieves that status, it signals an internal drive to keep getting better.
Even after 42-years for Margaret Wild.
“Everyday we have different technology. It’s new, it’s different, it’s never boring,” Wild says.
Wild has been board certified since 1991, and she works in the operating room at Clovis Community Medical Center.
“You have to know sterile processing, pre-op, post-op, all of that. And I feel that that’s helped me,” she says.
She’s seen how much the field has changed through the years, but says she’s always stayed ahead. “For me, I feel that I am a better asset to them for the nursing process. To evaluate, to feel empathy for them, also.”
Empathy and knowledge are two big components of nursing, through every stage of life.
It takes a dedication to these babies and their families. The NICU (newborn intensive care unit) is intensive care, so you’re typically dealing with babies that are very sick, unstable…” explains Diana Cormier Farah, clinical nurse specialist in the NICU.
“Once you’re done with nursing school, you start with a job, you go through orientation, you train, you get comfortable with your nursing skills. But it’s challenging to keep the information fresh, and to keep learning,” she says.
Cormier Farah now travels nationwide, learning best practices, the latest research and staying on top of what’s best for even the tiniest patients.
“I think what it means to the parents, is that we are saying to them, that we are committed to excellence. And that we are committed to not only to keeping up with healthcare, but getting ahead of it,” Cormier Farah says.
That includes through the nurses of tomorrow. Many of whom, are taught by Bridget Bousquet-Heyne.
“It shows that an individual’s pursuit of excellence, knowledge. It provides us with a sense of confidence,” Bousquet-Heyne says.
Education is her passion. She’s the nurse educator at Community Behavioral Health Center in Fresno.
“With all the changes in healthcare, when I think about it, how we nursed when I was a new nurse and how we nurse now – it’s very different. We’re very focused on evidence-based practice. Certification requires that you stay current with changes that are occurring in your area,” Bousquet-Heyne explains.
Which she says should give patients a level of comfort, and confidence that they’re being taken care of by the best.
“You’re saying, you know what. I’m proud to be a nurse, and I want to pursue nursing, and I want my knowledge to be at the highest level,” Bousquet-Heyne says.
That pride is why Community Medical Centers is recognizing every certified nurse in every specialty.
“It’s just an incredible profession,” Bousquet-Heyne says.
MedWatch is in partnership with Community Medical Centers.