Geremy Wooten, MSN, RN, CNL, CCRN-K
Specialty: ICU, Clinical Nurse Leader. Geremy is a Registered Nursing in the Adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU). After working as a bedside RN for many years, Geremy has now transitioned away from direct patient care to the role of Clinical Nurse Leader. (*fun fact- Geremy and I both have the same degree: MSN in Clinical Nurse Leadership!)
Before we get into the traditional questions of The 618 Series, let’s briefly talk about Coronavirus
Geremy’s role during Coronavirus:
Geremy, the traditional role of CNL does not involve direct patient care, but how has your role changed amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?
The CNLs on my unit are responsible for testing patients for Coronavirus. We are testing all of the, what the CDC has coined as PUIs– persons under investigation for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, that come through our ICU. [This requires the CNL to don full PPE (personal protective equipment) and perform a deep nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) of the patient.] CNLs are also assisting with general beds nursing care, for example– we are manually proning patients who are in severe ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome). [*fun fact- we prone our intubated (and nonintubated) babies all the time. I had no idea you could do this with intubated adults as well! See adults and babies in the ICU]
The 618 Series
WHAT ARE THE 6 MOST INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT YOUR SPECIALTY?
- I have an impact on patient care indirectly from a nursing leadership point of view.
- As a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL); I work in conjunction with the nurse manager as a “dynamic duo”. My prime responsibility is to manage the clinical care of patients within my microsystem (unit).
- Working within the ICU setting allows me the opportunity to utilize my critical-care thinking skills, versus being task-oriented with a large patient load.
- As a CNL, I work with multiple individuals on the interdisciplinary healthcare team. This broadens my understanding of each specific discipline’s role within the plan of care for the patient.
- CNL’s are advanced generalist nurses; meaning we have vast knowledge in a particular area of nursing (i.e. critical care, L&D, med/tele, oncology, etc). CNL’s are not advanced practice nurses.
- CNL’s can operate in a multitude of healthcare settings, i.e. hospitals, clinics, doctors offices, etc.
WHAT IS THE NUMBER 1 THING YOU WISH YOU HAD BEEN TOLD AS A NURSING STUDENT?
The number one thing that I wish I would’ve been told before becoming a nursing student is to not overwhelm myself with studying during school. Real life nursing experience provides the novice nurse with an astronomical amount of knowledge. The majority of information that is gained from nursing school is rarely remembered unless implemented into practice. With this said- this is why I encourage nursing students to focus more on developing your compassion while in school.
LASTLY, IF YOU HAD 8 MINUTES TO SPEAK TO THE ENTIRE WORLD ON ONE ISSUE IN HEALTHCARE, WHAT WOULD YOU SPEAK ABOUT?
If I had 8 mins to talk about one healthcare issue, it would undoubtedly be about mental health awareness. The mind/body connection is stronger than what we give it credit for. Our minds are the captain of our bodies. Therefore our physicality is only as healthy as our minds are. For example, if a person has the mentality/awareness to live a health conscious life, they are less susceptible to the disease/conditions associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. In addition, mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, personality disorders, etc. can truly lead to actual physical conditions. For instance, people who are constantly stressed or have high levels of anxiety are at high risk for development of hypertension. Hypertension thus places the individual at increased risk for stroke. As you can see, a patient can develop very REAL physical symptoms and conditions from having an unwell mind. This is why mental health awareness is SO IMPORTANT to overall holistic well being!