Clinical Education & QA/QI Manager/Professional Development Manager
MedStar Mobile Healthcare
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up on a cattle ranch in a small Texas town, called Farmersville, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas. I spent my free time herding cattle and hauling hay. I have been married for 17 years and have two teenage daughters. We spend our family time camping, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, and watching movies.
How did you come to work in EMS?
I came to work in EMS after a car accident in 1989 that almost killed my grandfather and resulted in my having a broken back and many other internal injuries. The small town in which I lived had only one ambulance, staffed by volunteers. There were a total of seven critical patients (including myself) on the scene, and we had to wait up to 30 minutes for the next ambulance to arrive. Having been raised in a family of public servants, I had previously considered becoming a nurse like my grandmother, but quickly changed my plan after the accident.
In 1994, I enrolled in the local EMT program. I had every intention of working in the town to give back for what the town and its people had done for us. However, I also quickly realized that working in such a small town, where everyone knew everyone else, may not be such a good idea. I began working in Dallas instead, then joined MedStar in 1997. I have been involved in EMS for 21 years now. Although I can’t honestly say I’ve loved every minute of it, I can say that this job has taught me so much and made me a better person. I wouldn’t trade that for anything!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best part of my job is helping people accomplish goals they have set for themselves! As a Paramedic, I would say “I love helping patients”. In my current role, I help EMTs and Paramedics become better EMTs and Paramedics. I help civilians accomplish the goal of becoming an EMT or First Responder. I help our leadership team become better leaders. I’m still helping people, but the reach seems greater in this position. It’s NOT “one patient at a time”. I work with an awesome team and it’s heartwarming to see everyone pull together to accomplish a goal, or to help others accomplish their goals.
What is your biggest professional challenge?
My biggest professional challenge is balancing the needs of the entire organization with training and education and encouraging others to explore alternative delivery methods for the education they want to provide, without having a traditional classroom session. Convincing some that it’s okay to embrace technology, provide education and convenience for your employees (and you too!), and show the “millennial employees” that you can understand their communication style can be quite a challenge some times.
What is your typical day like?
What is a typical day? Do those even exist? My typical day starts with the end of the day before. I look to see what classes we have scheduled for the following day, to see if we need to reconfigure classrooms, rearrange table & chairs, etc. When I arrive, I meet briefly with my team to find out what everyone has planned for the day, what challenges we may encounter, what meetings are on the agenda, and to get feedback from other meetings. Every day is different, so some days I will teach, other days are full of meetings with various departments, and some days I spend catching up on emails, building classes, etc.
How has participation in AAA helped your organization?
The education and thought sharing is extremely helpful. The ideas shared by the visionaries involved in AAA help make our profession stronger, both locally and nationally.