Please join me in congratulating Julie Block as September’s clinician of the month!
Julie had an amazing staff background before joining CMS as an agency nurse. She started at Union Memorial working on the Cardiovascular Step Down / Congestive Heart Failure unit caring for pre and post open heart patients. After a few years she moved into the Cardiovascular ICU where she recovered patients directly after open heart surgery. Since joining CMS she has worked several successful agency assignments at Sinai and Bayview.
Our admin team, especially Julie’s recruiter, Kate, just love working with her and were so excited to honor Julie with this award. And the accolades don’t stop there – we hear nothing but the most amazing feedback from Julie’s clinical supervisors – see what some have said below:
Julie is a very capable and skilled CVICU nurse. She uses critical thinking to care for all her pateients. Not only are her skills and knowledge exceedingly above standard, but she truly care about each patient as individuals. She is a pleasure to work with for her wit, quick thinking, and vast knowledge – Charge Nurse
Julie is a great nurse and extremely knowledgeable. Her patients love her! – Co-worker
I have worked with Julie for years and she is a very capable nurse and takes wonderful care of pre and post open heart patients. – CRNP
Julie Block possesses great clinical skills. She was very conscientious with her patient care. – Nurse Manager
What wonderful feedback – awesome work! Julie has a very interesting story about what drew her to cardiac nursing, and why she has been so successful in her career – check it out below!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in central Virginia between Charlottesville and Richmond. I was raised by my grandparents. I spent my summers in Baltimore with my Aunts, Uncles and cousins.
How did that impact where you are in your career today?
When I was a teenager, my grandfather suffered a massive heart attack and we moved back to Baltimore. Towards the end of high school, I was taking care of my grandmother at home on a more regular basis. She had a lot of home healthcare. I was interested in the nursing aspect, so I pursued nursing.
How did you get into healthcare, specifically ICU/CVICU nursing?
I owe my interest in cardiac nursing to a professor I had in nursing school who said “The best thing you can do is learn rhythms!” She was an amazing role model: a telemetry nurse, a nurse educator, and then family nurse practitioner who went further to get her Phd. I just was in awe that she had done so much in her career. I owe my interest in cardiac surgery to my nurse externship at Johns Hopkins Hospital on their CVSICU. I never wanted to be any other kind of nurse.
Where did you work before CMS, and how did you learn about CMS?
I worked at MedStar Union Memorial since I was a new graduate nurse. I worked with many CMS employees there.
What is your favorite part about your current agency assignment through CMS? I’m currently at Johns Hopkins Bayview and I really love my colleagues. The CICU has a supportive staff and is a really positive unit to work on. Past assignments through CMS? I find that I always know some one from somewhere! Staying local, I’m never really alone! That maybe my crutch but I’ll settle for now!
What is your favorite part about working for an agency? The weekly paychecks and flexible scheduling.
Would you recommend agency nursing to other clinicians?
I definitely would.
It’s really easy to burn out in our field and it’s also easy to become stagnant. Agency nursing exposes you to a variety of environments and pushes you to grow as a person and a clinician. You are exposed to different policies, equipment and procedures. You have to always be vigilant and open to seeing situations in a different light. You often find yourself being a resource to a staff nurse on a unit you’re contracted with. I would definitely recommend agency nursing to someone who wants to expand in that way.
What has made you so successful in your career?
What has allowed me to be successful is that I don’t let myself get in my own way. It hasn’t always come easy, but if you don’t think you are worthy enough, no one else will either.
Any advice to share with your fellow staff?
Keep trying it doesn’t matter how long it takes, because time is due to pass anyway. That’s from my favorite quote by Earl Nightingale: “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
What are your hobbies outside of your career?
I like exploring parks with my dogs Holly and Max. Learning new recipes to cook. Backpacking with fellow nurse friends. Day trips to new towns.
Let us know one (or more)random / interesting fact about you very few people know!
I almost didn’t go to nursing school! I was set on going to art school. I wanted to be a photojournalist. I managed my high school’s dark room and was quite good at developing my own film and prints. Now everything is digital and I post to my dog Max’s Instagram account: tailsofMaxdestruction Follow him! That’s as close to National Geographic as I’ve gotten!
What was your reaction to being named ‘Agency Clinician of the Month’? I cried! I am truly humbled!
Now you are going to make us cry, Julie! This honor is truly well deserved and we are so glad to have you as a part of our team. Congrats again and thanks so much for all your hard work!