Please put your hands together right meow for kitty lover and August’s clinician of the month, Katie Smith! As a teenager Katie was inspired by her parents, and after trying her hand as junior fire-woman and taking an EMT course she was hooked on emergency medicine for life! After nursing school Katie worked for multiple years in the ER as staff at Cooper University and Memorial Hospital of Salem before trying her hand at agency nursing. She worked multiple assignments through Supplemental Health care before joining the CMS team. Since coming on board she has crushed it with assignments at University of MD Medical Center and Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She is a beloved team member of our administrative staff (one recently said I don’t like to play favorites, but, ‘ya know, Katie is my favorite) and receives amazing feedback from her clinical supervisors – see what they have to say below:
Katie has been an extremely valuable employee and excellent addition to our team. She is very flexible and willing to any any assignment and patient load without hesitation. Katie has also been able to take on triage and intake duties and has done a great job. – Charge RN
Katie has outstanding clinical skills and a great attitude! – Nurse Manager
Katie is a great nurse. She has adapted well to our emergency deparment and is a team player. Katie is professional with patients and is very dependable. – Nurse Educator
Awesome, job, Katie – we are so thankful to have you as part of the CMS family, and we know your hard work is appreciated by patients and co-workers alike in the ER. We asked Katie to share a bit about her nursing journey and what has led here to be successful in her career. Check out her story below:
• Where did you grow up? How did that impact where you are in your career today?
I grew up in rural South Jersey (lots of farms and Wawas). My dad was a member of the fire department, so when I turned 14 I joined as a junior member. This led me to pursuing EMS, where I met my husband. And the rest – as they say – is history!
• How did you get into healthcare, specifically ER nursing?
When I was 16 my mom suggested I take an EMT course, and ever since then I knew I wanted to work in emergency medicine! Nursing school and ER nursing just felt like a natural next step.
• Where did you work before CMS, and how did you learn about CMS?
I worked for three years as an ER nurse in a Level 1 Trauma Center in South Jersey. Then, I took agency assignments for a year in Baltimore. However, my agency wasn’t local, and I was having trouble finding assignments in the area where I wanted to work. I knew from talking to other travelers that CMS was not only delightful to work with, but also had many contracts in the Baltimore area. I’m so glad I made the switch!
• What is your favorite part about your current agency assignment through CMS? Past assignments through CMS?
My current assignment at GBMC has been my favorite assignment through CMS. My coworkers are awesome and it’s a very team-focused environment. I absolutely recommend taking an assignment here if you have the opportunity!
• What is your favorite part about working for an agency?
My favorite part of agency work is being able to see how different ERs function. Processes like improving ER throughput and patient/staff satisfaction are different at every place I’ve worked. It’s been great learning experience so far!
• Would you recommend agency nursing to other clinicians? Why?
Absolutely! I love seeing how all the different hospitals operate. It’s fun meeting new people. Plus the pay is great, and if you hate it somewhere you can leave in 13 weeks 🙂
• Any favorite agency or work related stories to share?
I never know how to answer this question, so how about a cute anal discomfort story? One time I had a patient whose chief complaint was “a bug stuck in my butt” but all he had was a hemorrhoid.
• What has made you so successful in your career? Any advice to share with your fellow staff?
Being a team player is crucial, especially when you’re the new kid every three months. When you have downtime, always offer to help others get caught up before sitting down and relaxing and others will be more inclined to do the same for you. Teamwork makes the dream work!
• What are your hobbies outside of your career?
I love to cook, read, lie by the pool, and play with my two kittens, King Gustav VonCaterson and Ramsey the Conqueror.
• Let us know one (or more) random / interesting fact about you very few people know!
I very much dislike mashed potatoes and bananas. It’s a consistency thing. You don’t chew them, you don’t drink them, you just mush them around in your mouth for a little bit then swallow. Blech.
• What was your reaction to being named ‘Agency Clinician of the Month’?
Shock, then denial, then gracious acceptance. I’d like to thank all of the little people!!
• Anything else you want to share?
Lisa Cave is thebomb.com!
On behalf of the little people, as well as all the kitties in the world with super cool names, you are very welcome, Katie, and congrats again! Thanks so much for sharing your story, and interjecting your wonderful sense of humor. Wishing you many years of continued success!