Rewarding Team Dynamic Draws RN Back to VITAS
A desire to do work that matters fueled Kerry Owens’ transition from a career in banking to one in nursing.
“I have always really enjoyed taking care of people, and I wanted to do something that made a difference,” she says.
Kerry, a VITAS home care team manager in Kansas City, Kansas, began her nursing career caring for psychiatric patients before learning about hospice care. She made the move to VITAS in 2017.
“When you come into hospice, people are so grateful for the help,” she says. “There’s nothing like the feeling of walking into a home and knowing you can help a family in their moment of greatest need.”
She discovered that a lot of the de-escalation skills she used in her previous nursing role were helpful in the hospice setting, as well.
“Learning how to deal with people and personalities in crisis situations is a foundation for all of nursing care and life in general,” she says. “If you don’t know how to talk to people, you’re always going to be behind the curve.”
People, Possibilities Bring Kerry Back to VITAS
Kerry started at VITAS as an RN case manager before leaving briefly in late 2021.
Other places don’t have those opportunities for advancement.
It didn’t take her long to miss the strong team dynamic, robust resources, and supportive leadership she had at VITAS. “It’s such a team effort that you never feel like you’re out on your own,” she says.
Multiple VITAS team members reached out to Kerry, asking her to return. While she loved being a case manager, she was looking for a change. The timing was right: There was an opening at VITAS for a home care team manager.
With the encouragement and support of her new manager, she applied and got the job. “I was more ready for it than I thought, and I was so appreciative that I already had relationships with team members here,” she says.
VITAS Cares About Its People
As Kerry knows from personal experience, present and supportive leaders help ensure possibilities for growth for committed team members. She also appreciates the resources and opportunities that come with working for the nation’s leading provider of hospice care.
“At VITAS, you can move across the country. You can take your benefits with you. You can further your education,” she says. “Other places don’t have those opportunities for advancement.”
With new initiatives like the Difference Maker program, in which individuals in key clinical roles earn a cash payout after achieving their one-year anniversary, and the RN certificate program, in which RNs can earn financial rewards and CE credits for free, VITAS shows its people that it cares.
“VITAS takes care of their employees,” Kerry says. “They develop a feeling of appreciation and a loyalty between the staff and the company. If people don't feel like they're valued in what they do, they're going to move on.”
As a manager, Kerry tries her best to show that same appreciation and gratitude to her team members.
“Everybody's looking for purpose in their life,” she says. “I'm grateful every day for the opportunity I've had to come back to VITAS. I love the work and can't see myself doing anything else.”
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