The Not-So-Average Day with Sheri Nelson

It was a normal day of Sheri Nelson, Clinical RN III. As our charge nurse, she handled the normal scheduling of procedures and staff that Wednesday, and she was pleased when everything was scheduled and completed around the time her belly started rumbling for lunch. Just as she was about to think about going to the cafeteria, one of the doctors ran to her station. 

“Sheri,” he said. “I just had a patient consult, and they need emergency surgery.” 

It was still a normal day for Sheri as she dropped everything and started making calls. Within thirty minutes of the patient finding out about the procedure, the materials were gathered, the Case Manager pulled the file, Scrub Techs handled the instruments, the nurses got the patient to the pre-op area, and the anesthesiologist was on standby.  

“It takes a team effort to do that,” Sheri recapped with us, later that afternoon.  

One person can’t do it. But we all have good attitudes. Never has anyone said they don’t want to do something—it’s not in our vocabulary. It’s always “What do you need?” and “Can I help?” We all pitch in. That’s the best-case scenario, and that patient has received excellent care because of it. We’re in a hurry, but we don’t rush over what needs to be one. 

Since Sheri works in surgery, there’s quite a lot that needs to be done. There’s the pre-op unit, Operation Room, and recovery unit.  

On any given day, nurses can be in all three areas or just one in particular. We also cover the endoscopy lab, which covers GI procedures, so we have the same staff that works all of these different areas. It’s not unusual to go from one department to another, back and forthwe’re pretty flexible. With that being said, we have a tight schedule with our staff, so we schedule our doctors and nurses very efficiently. We schedule our doctors and nurses with that balancing act of our facilities in mind. I make sure the procedures and staff we schedule have adequate people and that the timing works for the patient and our work flow. 

Balancing different people’s needs (while also being prepared to drop everything at the sign of a patient in crisis) is definitely a skill that needs preserving, but Sheri enjoys the challenge. “I look at it like a big jigsaw puzzle. Every day I come in and try to fit everything together. Some days are simple, and sometimes you might have some trouble, but our team always makes it work,” she said confidently. 

Her team is based in Heber Springs, and Sheri finds that there are numerous benefits to working in one of the outlying facilities.  

It’s a beautiful hospital and it feels brand-new. There are views of Sugarloaf Mountain and there’s a panoramic view of the mountains and the cows on the other side. It’s a nice rural setting. There are visiting Baptist Health members that visit us and tell us how beautiful it is here. This location is in such a great community. 

Are you ready to make each day a different one? View our open positions page and consider applying for our outlier facilities such as Heber Springs. With beautiful views and a fascinating work life, there’s no telling what you’ll encounter when you arrive!  

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