The health care industry in Dallas is a hard one to get in to, but once you put in the time and effort, it is immensely rewarding. Olha Pijic struggled after first moving to Dallas, but once immersed in the standout health care program at Baylor University Medical Center, her hard work paid off and she's now thrilled to call Dallas her nursing home.
Where do you work and what is your position?
"I work in the New Family Center at Baylor University Medical Center. I am the nurse manager and manage 90 employees. It is a 36-bed postpartum unit."
What kind of degree do you have and what degree is required for this position?
"I am an RN, nationally certified in Maternal Newborn Nursing and currently have a BSN. My goal is to obtain an MSN but I am waiting until I send my youngest child off to college -- 2015. It is a requirement to have a BSN, but now an MSN is preferred. I have been at this hospital since 1991 and have been a manager for nine years."
What do you find was most helpful about your education?
"When I graduated in 1984 from McMaster University in Canada, my education prepared me to be a self-directed, problem-solving and objective professional nurse. McMaster Health Sciences focused its curriculum on interdisciplinary teamwork and open communication amongst the health care team. This provided me with the tools to work well with others and has greatly impacted my success in management."
How do you think being a health care professional in Dallas is unique from working in any other city?
"I have never regretted coming to work in Dallas at Baylor. It is an environment of constant change and for the better. I did not think this when I first started in 1991 because I experienced overwhelming culture shock. There was this hierarchy that existed amongst the health care team and I was not familiar with this approach. What has made my experience a good one was that Baylor wanted to be the best so it continuously improved processes to enhance quality and safety, customer service and employee satisfaction. What I learned at McMaster University about collaboration, negotiation and teamwork is now the norm at Baylor, and Baylor is a great place to work. Baylor University Medical Center is also a Magnet hospital, which allows nurses to have influence, accountability and impact on their own professional practice. That is unique."
Do you have any advice for someone interested in working in the health care field?
"Anyone who is interested in the health care field needs to have a passion to serve, be motivated to learn and must be resilient. A health care professional must never forget that we work, and are here, always for the patient/customer."
Judy Serrano writes romantic thrillers at JudySerrano.com. She graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with a BA in English. She is also a freelance writer for Examiner.com. She lives in Texas with her husband, four boys and five dogs.
for more features.