Please join me in congratulating January’s clinician of the month – Sherri Potter! Sherri got her start in healthcare as a volunteer parademic when she was just 18 years old. Not long after that she started at Hopkins as a trauma tech for 8 years before going to nursing school and working in the ER. After transitioning to the PACU Sherri joined CMS and has completed several successful contracts. She has been with CMS since June of 2018 where she has worked in the PACU and ASC settings at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC), and now is back at Hopkins at Bayview Medical Center working in the Cath Lab (assisting in both procedures and recovery).
Sherri was nominated by her recruiter, Reen Parks, who just loves working with Sherri – she regularly comments how much she loves working with Sherri and how she is ‘just the best, and her absolute favorite!’ But it is not just the administrative team that loves working with Sherri, check out what some of her clinical supervisors have to say:
Sherri is pleasant to work with. We tried to get her to come staff with us but she really enjoys working agency. – RN Manager
She is team oriented and a really hard-worker! – Charge RN
Sherri is enthusiastic, great with patients, and collegial. – RN Educator
That is wonderful feedback, Sherri! There is no greater compliment to an agency employee than trying to recruit them to join the team full time. Congrats! We asked Sherri to share a bit about her personal and career journey, and what has made it so successful. Take a look below:
1. I grew up in Overlea, MD living in a home my grandparents built. We all lived together in a loving environment where I learned to put others first. From a small child, I realized that it made me feel good to help others. I think this was the main driving force for the career I chose. I think nursing is a career where you can really make a difference in the lives of your patients.
2. I originally got into healthcare via the volunteer fire department when I was 18. I became a paramedic and found that I loved the job even though there was no pay involved. I felt I was really making a difference. Then in 1993 I got a job as a trauma tech at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and performed that job for 12 years. My supervisor begged me to go to school for nursing, so I finally did. I graduated and worked in the same ER for 8 more years. I then needed a schedule change and a job came open in the PACU. I transferred and the rest is history.
3. I worked at Johns Hopkins until my mom became ill and I went on leave to take care of her. After she passed, I put my resume on monster and indeed and was contacted by CMS.
4. My favorite part about my current assignment is the fact that I am learning a totally new skill. I have done prep/PACU and ER. I have never worked in a lab. I was trained to do the conscious sedation in the TEE (transesphogeal echo) lab. I learned a new computer system to go along with it. I am also helping with the IV contrast for echocardiograms and agitated saline for bubble studies to rule out Patent Foramen Ovale in cardiac patients. It is always a blast to learn a new skill.
My assignment at GBMC was my first agency assignment. It was a PACU with the same computer system I was used to, so nothing new there. My favorite part there was the staff. They were amazing the way they made me part of there family. I was even invited to the staff holiday parties even though my assignment ended 2 months earlier.
5. My favorite part about working for an agency is the flexibility. When my mom passed, I became guardian of my favorite aunt who is mentally challenged due to a brain injury she received at age 7. She is community living in Scranton, PA and comes home to Baltimore 3 times a year. She is my priority. By working agency, I have the flexibility I need to keep her life as normal as possible.
6. I would definitely recommend agency employment. My entire nursing career was at Johns Hopkins until CMS. I was inundated with calls and emails after deciding to go back to work. I fell I chose well with CMS. My recruiter, Reen is terrific. She is on top of the job market. She is responsive to my needs. She is always available. And, she gives a good pep talk when I need it. Because this last assignment was so far out of my wheelhouse, I was skeptical. She talked me off the ledge and I found the confidence in myself that she saw. As I mentioned earlier, I now have some new skills.
7. In my PACU position at GBMC, we recovered a lot of patients who had bariatric surgery. One of my patients woke up from anesthesia and asked, “How come I am not skinny?” I guess she should have read the fine print.
8. I think the main thing that has made me successful in my career so far is a true love of the job. I have been helping others my whole life. Nursing allows me to do what I love using more technical skills that really do make a difference in the lives of my patients. Don’t do it for the money. Patients tell me every day, “Sherri, I can tell you love your job.” Many of them hug me and thank me for taking such good care of them. That means more to me than money.
My advice to fellow staff would be this. If you do what you love, it will never feel like work. Nursing has so many different avenues. Find one that makes you excited to go to work.
9. My hobbies are hunting, fishing, and woodworking. These are all things I did with my dad growing up. I think I love woodworking the best because of the feeling of accomplishment I get when I see what I have created. I design and build custom cabinets and make furniture. It is a great stress reliever and most importantly it is fun.
10. I rescue all my pets, and currently have 2 dogs and a cat. I rode my 10 speed bike from Baltimore, MD to Ocean City, MD. It took me 9 1/2 hours. I guess that is about as random as it gets for me.
11. I was very surprised to be nominated as clinician of the month. I don’t feel like I did anything special, or went above and beyond. I have always had a good work ethic and I just love what I do. I have a good rapport with my colleagues and patients and try to do my best for them.
12. I feel very blessed because no matter what I wanted to do with my life, my amazing family was always there to support me. My husband is my number one fan. In my career, I am blessed because I feel equally supported by Reen, my recruiter, who always has my back.
Thank you for the nomination. I will do my best not to let you down
Thanks so much for sharing, Sherri, and congrats on being named clinician of the month. Your hard work is an inspiration to us all, and it really shows that you love what you do. Wishing you many years of continued success as part of the CMS family!