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Life Changing Is ... Being a Leader

Eva W., RN, BSN-CMSRN, Clinician/Nurse Leader

"I want to enjoy what I do. It's about the people."

Eva jokes that she "spends a lot of money on candy."

It can come in handy in her position.

A UPMC nurse for over 11 years, Eva is now a clinician and nurse leader for a trauma and orthopaedic unit at UPMC Hamot. Her job requires many administrative responsibilities. But she says being a good leader is most important.

"The biggest part of my job is supporting my staff and helping with the patients," she says. "I have an open-door policy, so my office door is always open. I find that everybody likes to come in here, hang out, eat candy, and complain at me, or ask me questions or ask for advice."

Although she's worked for UPMC her entire nursing career, that career has taken Eva to many different places. She started in the trauma and orthopaedic unit — the one she now leads. But she also spent time on a step-down unit and as a traveling nurse, working at different UPMC facilities on six-week rotations.

"I got to work with a lot of different people, a lot of different work styles, a lot of different patient populations," she says. "It was enlightening."

That experience helps her in her current position.

"You have to approach everybody differently," she says. "That's one of the biggest things I learned as a bedside nurse because all of your patients are different. So, now, as a nurse leader, I'm learning my staff and how to approach everybody and meet them where they are instead of where I'm at."

She oversees a team of over 50 employees. Eva says she makes sure to develop a personal relationship with all of them.

"As a leader, you're supposed to engage, appreciate, and set the example," Eva says. "So, I want to know my team so that I can lead them the way they want to be led."

Her current job includes more administrative work than bedside care. But Eva still makes sure she sees patients. She does nurse leader rounds, where she meets patients and answers any questions they may have. And she helps members of her team when they have questions.

Eva says she knows nursing can take people to many different places. But she says she's glad she's spent all of her time at UPMC.

"I want to enjoy what I do," she says. "It's not about the money, it's about the people, and it's about the opportunity. UPMC has provided me with a career ladder that I can climb, that I have climbed, that allows me to grow as a professional."

At UPMC, Life Changing Medicine means growing together.

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