Grow Your Career at VITAS: One Team Manager’s Story
When Chante Blangor came to VITAS as a home-based field nurse two years ago, she couldn’t have anticipated how much her life would change.
Since then, she's been promoted to team manager at the VITAS Inpatient Hospice Unit at Broward Health Coral Springs.
Even more notable to her is the difference in culture here.
“VITAS is the first company I've worked at that I actually feel valued,” she says. “People always tell you [that] you do a good job, but they don't necessarily show you. VITAS does a very good job showing people that they really do value and appreciate their work.”
A Passion for Patients—and Possibilities for Career Growth
Prior to coming to VITAS, Chante worked in home healthcare, primarily with older patients. The transition to hospice care was a natural one.
“I started to understand that hospice and palliative care services brought an easier transition at end of life. It provided the patient more comfort.”
VITAS does a very good job showing people that they really do value and appreciate their work.
As a home-based nurse, her commitment to patients was evident.
“I loved it. I liked that no day was really the same. You met different types of people from all walks of life. You got to know a lot about different cultures, people's way of living. My patients mean everything to me,” she says.
When the team manager opportunity came up, she hesitated at first.
“I really like to interact with my patients and care for my patients. And I didn't really feel like I would be doing that, being a manager. It's more administrative work, and I wasn't sure that that was really for me.”
Ultimately, the unwavering support of her manager and others encouraged her to make the leap. “I didn't see myself in that role so much as other people did, but they continued to encourage me. They let me know I was doing a good job. They heard good things about me, and they encouraged me to grow my career.”
The Role of Inpatient Unit (IPU) Team Manager
The IPU team manager is responsible for coordinating all patient care services for the team, collaborating with physicians and coordinating schedules to ensure a seamless patient experience.
While there is more administrative work than her previous role, Chante says she has been pleasantly surprised by the balance it has brought to her life.
It's hard work, but it's also very rewarding work. You know that what you do makes a difference.
“I have a better work-life balance, and I get to see VITAS from a different aspect. Inpatient care is a little bit different from what we do in the home team, so, I'm learning each day and adapting.”
She’s also been able to maintain patient interaction. “In the mornings when I first get there, I settle in and then I go around, and I see all the patients. If they're able to talk to me, I have a conversation.”
Present Leadership, Passionate Colleagues
VITAS team members enjoy the support of present, approachable leaders and colleagues who share their passion for caring. The work can be emotional, and knowing you have people you can lean on is important.
“Sometimes we have very hard days. When I was a field nurse, my colleagues were very compassionate and understanding toward each other. Our chaplain was always a phone call away. At VITAS, everybody is so open and so loving toward each other. And they really do share that culture of caring for one another.”
It’s helped her set the tone for the kind of leader she wants to be. “I want to be somebody my team members feel is dependable and has their best interests at heart, because I do. I want them to know that even though I might be their manager, I'm looking out for them.”
“I know a lot of people say the patient comes first, which is true, but employees are also important, and they have to know that. I'm going to try my best to make sure that they feel cared for.”
In the end, for anyone looking for a meaningful career at a company that cares, Chante encourages them to look at VITAS.
“VITAS is really a very good company to work for. I really enjoy pretty much everything about it: the camaraderie between our coworkers, the interactions with our patients. It's hard work, but it's also very rewarding work. You know that what you do makes a difference, and you know you've made somebody’s life that much better.”