Archive for category: News
Although she’s had plenty of amazing experiences in her two years at Northside Hospital, Desire’ F. can sum up what sets us apart in one word: Growth.
“I would say it’s an exponential amount of growth, and it opens up growth for you as an individual,” she said. “It’s personal growth and development as a career pathway.”
Desire’ started here as a staff nurse, then became a supervisor and is now a Med/Surg manager at Northside Cherokee. She will oversee the opening of a GI unit in October and a same day surgery unit in December.
She feels she has become a showcase for how Northside supports team members on their career journeys.
“Northside Hospital has a great program for leadership development,” Desire’ said. “These specific courses allow one to gain solid communication skills and materials. In addition, the program provides support, education and access to resources you need to succeed here.”
Success is something Desire’ – and everyone here – celebrates. Succeeding every day in the demanding environment of healthcare is among the things that define what working at Northside is all about. Desire’ says there are plenty of others.
“The people I work with” she said, citing what she loves most about working at Northside. “It’s about bringing together community and extending that culture to the floor. That creates the close relationships, family bonding and teamwork that allows us to set and keep our service standards so high. We pride ourselves on excellence.”
Desire’ said anyone who has their sights set on a Northside career needs to embrace excellence in whatever they do – because it will pay off.
“The standards here are like no other,” she said. “There are lots of opportunities, too, such as externships, in different areas of the healthcare system that could lead to your growth. [Northside] really places individuals where they will flourish.”
Because of the focus on growth, Desire’ said there might be some people who wouldn’t fit into the Northside family.
“Somebody who does not enjoy learning new things and who doesn’t like change, for example,” she said. “Negativity is not something we’d like to see flourish on the floor, so we can’t have somebody who doesn’t want to grow with us.”
What other advice does she have for job seekers?
“We look for retention,” Desire’ said. “We want someone who is honest and loyal, someone who has ambition to further their career growth.”
When she looks ahead to her own career growth, Desire’ said she is excited about the foundation she is building here.
“I just really want to embed myself into the community and really make myself an asset here,” she said. “I want to enhance the culture (if that’s even possible) and make it a better experience for my colleagues and our patients. I want to plant a good culture seed so we can expand on that.”
The benefits of being part of the Northside family are no secret to any of us who work here.
Still, it’s nice when we’re recognized for being a leader in key areas that directly impact our team members and through them, our patients. That’s why we’re thrilled and honored to learn that we’ve been singled out for not one, not two, not three, but four 2019 awards from the compensation and culture tracking website Comparably.
Our CEO was named among the “Best CEOs for Diversity” and “Best CEOs for Women,” honors that showcase our core belief that diversity makes us stronger. It’s a commitment that starts at the top and trickles down to every leader and team member and it is one of the main reasons we’ve found so much success.
Northside Hospital was also recognized for being among the top 25 companies that earned the “Best Leadership Team” title for 2019. This is also an honor that starts in the C-suite, and echoes throughout the Northside healthcare system.
Our leaders, at all levels, work to challenge, empower and support us, aiming to help all of us grow professionally and personally.
One of the best things about this award was that it was based on feedback from our team members, one of whom wrote: “Our leadership team is comprised of a dynamic group of forward thinkers who will stop at nothing to propel our organization forward.”
Speaking of moving forward, Northside Hospital also was named as one of the top 25 companies for “Best Professional Development,” another honor that was bestowed on us by our own employees.
Thanks to their feedback, this is another area where Northside is getting some well-deserved recognition. We believe we can best serve our patients and our communities by ensuring that our employees are at their best – and that’s something we strive for every day.
It’s another one of our core values, and it’s wonderful to see how many in the Northside family truly appreciate the extensive opportunities for growth that they get here.
“I am encouraged to be curious,” one of them wrote in the Comparably survey. “And I have been given a lot of tools to expand my knowledge and skills to do my job more effectively.”
As we cross the halfway point in 2019, all of us here are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish so far this year. The Comparably awards are proof that we are doing the right things for our employees and Northside as a whole.
While we are honored and very proud, we’re not resting on our laurels. Far from it, in fact. Instead, we’re using these accolades as motivation to be even better in the future.
If you’re searching for the right home for your professional skills, think about how much values including diversity, good leadership and career development mean to you. Then, think about joining us here at Northside Hospital!
The way Amy F. sees it, working at Northside Hospital is more than just a job. It’s an honor.
Amy, a six-year Northside veteran who was recently promoted to Director of Surgical Services at the Forsyth Campus, is more impressed every day with Northside’s commitment to quality in everything it does.
“They take such good care of their employees, and they put the patient first and foremost in every decision that they make,” she said. “I think Northside understands the value of positions that help support patient safety and growth. They support education and quality.”
To her, that’s one major facet of the “Northside Difference,” and among the many things that set Northside apart as a health care system and as an employer.
“It’s a phenomenal team that really works together to achieve that end result, which is sending the patient home safely,” Amy said. “In particular, in Surgical Services, we always have the latest and greatest technology and tools. We love our surgeons and our staff – quality is of the utmost importance and patient safety is a priority.”
Keeping those priorities straight in the sometimes hectic and stressful world of health care takes intense collaboration and true camaraderie in the workplace, something Amy believes is another hallmark of the Northside Hospital family.
“I love my immediate coworkers, we have a blast!” she said. “We love to laugh. And eat donuts. And we’re a very competitive group – so it’s fun, we have little competitions and we run races together and do all kinds of things. We try to do something once a month that’s fun as a group, we go bowling or out to eat or something so we can all get together outside of work and really know each other. It helps with work/life balance too.”
Teamwork is one aspect of the Northside Difference. Pride in what you do is another, Amy said.
“Surgical Services is a growing demand, and always will be,” she said. “Our team really feels a sense of ownership and pride because they’ve helped build these programs and the reputation here.”
Being part of such a driven and determined team can make every day at work something special. It’s a big reason so many people want to work at Northside, and Amy offers this advice for anyone who is looking to join the family.
“Be passionate about what you love and do and let that come through when you are interviewing!” she said. “Let people know what you are capable of and want to do every day. It’s a very diverse organization and we really like people with all different backgrounds and talent. If you have the desire and talent to work at Northside, we need you and our patients need you!”
Being part of the Northside Hospital team, however, means more than just a place to come to work every day. It demands real commitment and might not be for everyone.
“If you don’t come in and want to work hard and have integrity – we really value those values, so if you don’t possess that type of character you won’t make it,” Amy said. “We can teach you skills, but we can’t instill those values in you, so if you don’t bring them with you, you won’t succeed. We want people to come here and be supported and support people who align with our core values as an organization.”
Those core values form the foundation of our organization, and they also form the foundation of incredible careers. Amy says she’s grateful for everything Northside has done to support her journey thus far.
“They have supported everything – they have supported decision making processes and decisions that have been made, they’ve supported our Surgical Services team from a staff and surgeon perspective,” she said. “And they’ve believed in me, in my abilities, which has allowed me to grow!”
As she looks toward her future at Northside, Amy is excited by the possibilities.
“I think there is always opportunity for growth,” she said, adding: “There is something for everyone at Northside. I think Surgical Services is the best team out there, and you’ll never be bored!”
What happens when you pair a dedicated and compassionate Northside Hospital employee with a caring, insightful and insistent mentor? In the case of Northside’s Christie H., you get a registered nurse who is now proud to be an integral part of the Blood & Marrow Transplant Residency Program.
Christie’s story actually started in August 2000, when she joined Northside Hospital’s Environmental Services team. Unsure of where she wanted to go in her career, Christie had never even considered working in patient care. Becoming a nurse wasn’t on her radar, either.
However, there was something about being at Northside that Christie says resonated with her right away. Maybe it was her supportive and encouraging teammates and the way they treated each other. Maybe it was seeing what a huge difference we made for the patients who came through our doors.
Whatever it was eventually motivated Christie to take advantage of a CNA/Patient Care Tech training program Northside offered. Once she started, Christie was amazed at how much she enjoyed it, and how good she was at it.
She worked in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit and Labor & Delivery before making her way to BMT. She had found her calling – or so she thought.
Once in the BMT unit, Christie started working with Tricia C., a staff Nurse who has been with Northside Hospital since September 2001. Tricia became a mentor to Christie, and told her she should consider nursing school.At the time, though, Christie was happy being a CNA. She believed nursing school probably wasn’t for her. Tricia knew better, and as good mentors do, she kept gently pushing Christie toward the goal, guiding and encouraging her along the way.
“Tricia saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself,” Christie said later.
Turns out that Tricia was on to something and, soon, so was Christie. After nearly 12 years as a Patient Care Tech, Christie applied to complete her pre-requisites.
Once she finished them at Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Christie went on to Nursing school at Chamberlain College of Nursing. She graduated in 2017 and entered the BMT RN Residency Program in August 2017.
When she looks back today, Christie is somewhat amazed by her journey and thrilled she took it. She is still surrounded and motivated by caring and supportive colleagues, and she loves the impact she’s making every day. She’s also forever grateful to her mentor, Tricia.
As with any health care career, there can be tough days. The hardest part about the job for Christie is when patients have bad outcomes because, in nearly every case, Christie finds herself wishing she could do more.
In spite of that, when her shift ends and she heads home to spend time with her 2-year-old, Christie is always thankful for the people who make the Northside Difference – and the difference they’ve made in her life.
For Northside Hospital Bone Marrow Transplant Nurse La-Vonnie H., being great at what she does requires more than just a focused individual effort. It requires the encouragement and backing of a solid support team. Which is exactly what she’s found at Northside Hospital.
“We have the support here,” said La-Vonnie, who joined the BMT unit at Northside Hospital in July 2018 as part of our Experienced Registered Nurse Internship program. “We have the guidance, mentorship and the support to make you great.”
At Northside, greatness is what we strive for. It’s a goal we aim to reach together because it opens new doors in the careers of our team members – and it also means better outcomes for the patients we care for.
For nurses like La-Vonnie, the Experienced RN Intern program is providing that crucial first step toward the goal of greatness – and it’s already made a difference.
“They’ve provided a great experience during nurse internship,” La-Vonnie said. “A lot of hospitals don’t do that. They really catered to my specialty. There’s support from all over the hospital, from clinicians, managers, other nurses. I’ve seen how long nurses stay here, it inspires me to do the same.”.
That kind of inspiration goes a long way, and to La-Vonnie, it’s one of the things that make up the “Northside Difference.”“We’re a big unit but we’re very close despite our size,” she says of her BMT colleagues. “There are the same doctors who come into our unit every time and that consistency helps with patient experience and with that, our employee experience.”
That closeness and spirit of teamwork are also among the things that set us apart and make Northside such a great place to work, according to La-Vonnie.
“My favorite part is being able to interact with my patients and my colleagues,” she said. “Going to work and having that support. We’re so team-oriented and have amazing camaraderie.”
Although she’s been with us less than a year, La-Vonnie has already seen what it takes to succeed in the Northside Family. She offers this advice to those who want to join her. “You need to be willing to put in the work and be at a place where you’re going to work hard, and excel and put that time in,” she said. “Don’t give up if you don’t hear back the first time.
“It requires dedication,” she continued. “If you aren’t dedicated to excel as a person, you won’t succeed here.”
La-Vonnie has already shown her willingness and dedication, and she knows what a difference the intern program can make – and is already making – in advancing her nursing career. “I feel blessed to be here and to be a part of such a highly recognized team,” she said. “Northside has such esteem, it is the best.”
Northside Hospital Environmental Services Tech Stephan V. knows that his interactions with patients can have just as much impact as those of any doctor or nurse. And he proved that recently with a patient who was being treated for leukemia in Northside’s BMT unit. Stephan’s natural gift for kindness and optimism left an impression on the woman and her family that won’t ever be forgotten.
Check out this excerpt from a letter written by Angie L., the patient’s daughter:
“I first met Stephan in April 2016 when my mom was diagnosed with leukemia,” she wrote. “It was such a scary time for us. Stephan walked in the room and provided a true breath of fresh air. His sense of humor was so comforting and his positive attitude is incredible!”
This is high praise indeed and shows what impact a simple smile and upbeat demeanor can have, especially for those patients and their families who are facing a difficult journey. Stephan, like so many other Northsiders, has an innate ability to make those around them feel better.
It’s a skill that’s apparent to Stephan’s boss, Monique J.
“It goes to show that our staff are more than EVS Techs,” she wrote after seeing Angie’s letter. “The care and kindheartedness that they provide to our patients goes a long way and it can be quite memorable for the families.”
When caring is genuine, people know it. Although Angie’s mother sadly succumbed to her disease in January, Stephan’s kindness was a lasting gift for her and her family.
“Of all of the people that she wanted to recognize before she died, Stephan was one of them,” Angie wrote. “I can’t explain how much he meant to us over the long journey. Northside Hospital is so lucky to have Stephan.”
We are lucky to have Stephan, and thousands of others just like him, in the Northside family. They realize that what they do every day – and how they do it – can make a world of difference!
For many Northside patients, one of the first faces they see belongs to Marckeith D. or a member of his team.
As a Financial Counseling Supervisor at the Atlanta campus, Marckeith and the people he manages are responsible for getting the patient experience off on the right foot. After six years with Northside, Marckeith is confident his team is making a difference.
“We are the meat and potatoes of the hospital,” Marckeith says. “We are here to assist patients who may have financial difficulties. We’re the brain trust and problem-solvers identifying where we can best help patients.”
For Marckeith and his staff, the basics of the job are “registering patients, getting all the patients demographic and insurance information and trying to make a successful collection of whatever the patient’s responsibility for payment is.”
It’s important ground floor work that must be handled with care, compassion, and precision. “Our main goal (outside of safety and excellence) is brainstorming how we can help patients who are having financial difficulties,” Marckeith said. “We’re here to give options to our patients.”
Taking care of patients comes easily to Marckeith because he is proud to be part of the Northside family and everything it represents.
“It’s a phenomenal feeling,” he said. “Northside didn’t become the number one employer in the Southeast by mistake. Northside puts their patients first in everything. Northside also takes care of its employees, not only from a financial perspective, but a compassion and care perspective.”
Taking care of employees has a trickle-down effect that directly impacts patients and helps create what Marckeith sees as “The Northside Difference.”
“We pride ourselves on giving each patient and their families service excellence,” Marckeith said. “We listen to their concerns, and their health comes first and foremost. We want to make sure that the patient is taken care of and comfortable and that their families are comfortable.
“We have a great clinical staff, the nurses, physicians, and techs. Northside employees will always put a patient’s safety above all.”
For those looking to join the Northside family in any capacity, Marckeith says it’s key that they be ready to perform at a high level from the first day.
“Research the company!” he said. “See if you have what it takes to be a Northside employee – are you committed to excellence? Are you committed to ensuring each patient and their family has a pleasurable experience? We want to make sure that the experience here is different than any other hospital experience they have had.”
Marckeith says those applying to Northside also need to be comfortable working as part of a team.
“Definitely, if you’re not a team player, you should not apply!” he said. “Northside is all about teamwork. You should have a drive and determination to succeed, and be able to accept constructive feedback and apply it in your daily job, until you become an expert at it.”
Once you’re working at Northside, Marckeith says you can expect to challenged, empowered and supported – just as he has been throughout his career journey here.
“Northside is different than any employer I’ve ever worked for,” he said. “The leadership here has really taken the time to prepare me for my current role and others that I may apply for in the future. Northside takes very seriously the education of its employees to ensure that we are knowledgeable and capable to execute our job responsibilities precisely.”
As a team leader and supervisor, Marckeith has learned to appreciate and respect those he works with. In fact, he says his teammates are his favorite thing about working at Northside.
“That’s the God honest truth,” he said. “I love my employees! I will work hard for them, because the harder I work for them, the harder they work for me! I’ve never worked anywhere where I have cared this much about my staff.”
When he looks toward his future at Northside, Marckeith says he is content with the path he is following. “I see that there are areas and opportunities for growth,” he said.
In fact, Marckeith says there is very little that could tear him away from his team at Northside. “There is absolutely no way that I’m leaving Northside Hospital – unless I go to the U.S. Senate in 2022!” Marckeith said. “That’s just how good Northside has been to me – I have never enjoyed working somewhere like I do working at Northside.”
Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse Tawana W. started at Northside Hospital six years ago as a Cath Lab intern – with 20 years of nursing experience.
It may sound crazy, but Northside’s Cath Lab intern training program was exactly what Tawana was looking for. After nearly two decades of nursing experience, our program offered her the chance to build a new skill set.
“In order to do what I’m doing, you need specialized training and in this day and time, hospitals usually want people who already have experience,” she said. “But Northside was looking for nurses with a critical care background that had a desire to learn Cath Lab. I thought I could get the training I needed, and I did.”
Tawana, who is often told she’s an “adrenaline junkie,” wanted to take her nursing career in a different direction.
“I started out in critical care ICU, and I’ve had numerous jobs during my nursing career,” she said. “I wanted to branch out. After doing ICU – I’ve done ICU, burns, medical ICU, a lot – I figured the best step for me would be the Cardiac Cath Lab.”
Today, Tawana believes she got everything she came for at Northside Hospital.
“I feel like I am among the best!” Tawana said. “We have a strong team, we have strong leadership, I feel like they are very supportive of their staff. The people that I work with are very family-oriented and supportive of each other. It’s the best environment and setting for me at this point in my career.”
Tawana says that anyone who wants to join the Northside family shouldn’t forget about non-traditional approaches to getting here. The willingness to do something a bit different, mixed with a dash of perseverance, can work wonders.
“See what opportunities there are for internship and training,” she said. “Northside has requirements, and you need to understand and learn what the Northside expectation is. And don’t give up! If it doesn’t happen, find out why, improve, and then reapply.”
It will be worth it! Northside, Tawana says, is a special place.
“It’s a great environment to work in! It’s a growing, progressive hospital that’s branching out into other areas. The education, the training initiatives that they have in place…it’s all around a good hospital to work for. I have no regrets!”
After six years working with us, Tawana knows what works at Northside – and also what doesn’t.
“You have to be open-minded and receptive to training when you are learning a job – you have to be able to receive direction without having your feelings hurt,” she said. “People who usually don’t succeed aren’t open-minded or receptive to change, which is especially important in today’s environment where things change so fast.”
Although she sees herself as an older, seasoned nurse, Tawana is still excited about her future at Northside and the opportunities working here could create.
“From my standpoint, I see myself either branching out into leadership or education,” she said. “I used to work on the industry side doing education, so the options are open! I just have to see which direction I want to go. Northside encourages you to get advanced degrees as well, so that’s a strong option for me as well.”
Whatever her next step, Tawana is happy to be where she is and doing what she’s doing right now.
“I like the leadership in the cardiology department, from the VP to the director all the way to my clinical coordinator,” she said. “You know what, I enjoy going to work! When you enjoy who you work with, It makes a difference, I’ve been in environments where you get up and you dread going to work – and I don’t feel like that at Northside. I work with a very excellent team.”
A little kindness can go a long way. While that’s true anywhere, it’s especially true when it comes to working in healthcare. Sometimes, the simplest gesture can mean so much to a patient or a co-worker.
That’s why we’ve decided to start a “Kindness Revolution” at Northside Hospital Forsyth, because we want to recognize and celebrate the tenderness and caring of all the members of the Northside Family.
Our “Caught in the Act of Kindness” campaign allows employees to single out and salute those who routinely go above and beyond every day and make working here more than just a job.
The nominees will get a special certificate, a T-shirt and a pin as they are honored by their supervisors. The certificates will be placed on each department’s “Kindness Bulletin Board” and their names also will be featured on the TV screens near the cafeteria. As a finale, our kindness winners will be recognized at the Patient Experience Awards in May.
Nurse Sarah H. was “caught in the act” of helping a patient celebrate her 96th birthday. Sarah had balloons sent to the room and helped lead the staff in singing “Happy Birthday” for the patient, who tearfully clapped along. It was an amazing moment of kindness.
Dr. Wayne A. of the GI Lab singled out the kindness and compassion of Dacella R., calling her “an amazing asset to the team,” while Jae B. singled out co-worker Buddy C. for not only noticing that her car license plate was about to fall off, but fixing it for her, too!
The acts of kindness aren’t limited to one unit. Oncology Nurse Bailey R. asked some of her teacher friends to have students make Valentine’s Day cards for our Oncology patients. The kids did an amazing job and we had enough cards for every patient – all of whom were touched by the sweet gesture. The cards really brightened their day.
We are aware that kindness is a choice, and we’re proud to know that so many Northsiders make it their first choice in almost any situation. It’s one of the fundamental things that sets members of the Northside family apart every day – and one of the main reasons we’ve chosen them to be on the front lines of our Kindness Revolution.
For Patricia T., working at Northside Hospital means excelling at innovating.
Patricia, administrative director of our Heart and Vascular Institute, is an integral part of the Northside team that was recently honored with the TCAR Award, recognizing us as a center of excellence for the revolutionary transcarotid artery revascularization technique (TCAR).
This state-of-the-art, minimally invasive procedure helps treat plaque in the carotid artery, which could cause a stroke if left alone. TCAR also allows for the treatment of more patients, including those that previously would have been deemed too risky for surgical intervention.
“You don’t have to have an open surgical procedure, you can help patients avoid stroke without even being under anesthesia, and they can go home the next day,” says Patricia. “Older, sicker patients can actually be treated safer, and with fewer complications. We couldn’t even imagine this years ago!”
Patricia says that at Northside, medical innovations are quickly incorporated into patient treatment, thanks to forward-thinking doctors, nurses and hospital leadership. She credits Dr. Siddharth Patel with being a particular champion of TCAR.
“He had the insight to see that this technique had a huge potential for older and/or high-risk patients,” she said. “He was the one who led our calling to it, and he has been the one out educating the public and primary care physicians about the benefits of this procedure.”
Patricia says one reason Northside earned the award was because of the high number of patients it has treated using TCAR – and the high quality of their outcomes.
“What’s so nice about this technique is that previously, not all patients could have a carotid procedure because they were at high risk for stroke,” Patricia said. “In the past, the answer was surgery, and the next innovation was stent placement via the femoral artery. But for older patients, it was still high risk. TCAR allows us to do this without even putting some patients under general anesthesia.”
Making such an innovative approach commonplace is just one more way Northside sets itself apart from many other health systems. It also showcases how teamwork focused on patient care continually drives us forward, and makes Northside such a special place to build a career.
“What you see on our social media pages is true about the environment here – there is a huge sense of collaboration at Northside,” Patricia says. “The focus on the quality of patient care and patient experience makes it a great culture. We can grow our program and focus on patient care and experience, which makes it a unique place to work. As a consultant in my past jobs, I experienced many different health systems across the country. When I came to Northside, I immediately noticed a difference in the environment.”
For Patricia, collaboration, empowerment and a willingness to listen to team members are all hallmarks of the “Northside Difference.”
“It is a culture that is focused on quality of care and patient experience. It really makes you proud,” she said. “The sense of family, too…if you have ever walked the halls here, there really is a sense of teamwork. When I first came here, it was noticeable – everyone was smiling, and happy, people were helping families and going out of their way – it was like, ‘is this for real?’ But six years later, I can tell you, it’s real!”
Giving employees the tools, training, and technology they need to succeed helps Northside build a strong foundation of support. For Patricia, however, that combination really works because of the team of people we’ve assembled here.
“The employees who work at the heart and vascular institute are genuinely great individuals, they care for their patients, they’re highly trained,” she said. “I know that patients are getting great care, I know our operations are being run well, I know our staff members are caring to patients and their families. It allows me to focus on the growth of the program.”
As she focuses on the growth of her programs, Patricia also is focusing on the growth of her career. It has her excited about what’s on the horizon because she’ll be “continually looking for what is next in cardiovascular patient care, and the procedures that we will offer to our patients. These techniques are innovative, and we’ll keep preparing ourselves for the next ones that will provide expert care for our patients in the future.”