Earlier this week, more than 200 Belmont University health science students and faculty attended a lunchtime panel discussion on “Emerging Issues and Hot Topics in Acute Care” presented by health professionals from Community Health Systems and sponsored by the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing. The discussion provided students with information about practice changes and new career paths that are developing because of the changes occurring nationally in acute care.
Community Health Systems is a leading operator of general acute care hospitals in the United States. The organization's affiliates own, operate or lease 134 hospitals in 29 states, with approximately 19,800 beds. Community Health Systems-affiliated hospitals are the sole provider of healthcare services in more than 60 percent of the markets they serve.
Panelists included Barbara Paul, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Community Health Systems, a board certified internist who spent 12 years in fulltime practice before entering administration; Keri McKamey, RN, BSN, Emergency Room Director at Heritage Medical Center in Shelbyville, TN, who has 16 years experience in surgery and emergency nursing; Nina Jackson, RN, MSN, CCRN, Director of Critical Care, Step-Down and Cardiovascular Nursing at Gateway Medical Center in Clarksville, TN, who has over 23 years of critical care/ICU nursing experience; Vickie Vaughn, RN, CNOR, Director of Surgical Services at Heritage Medical Center, who has over 30 years experience in the healthcare industry; and Jennifer Brandon, MS-CCP/SLP, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Gateway Medical Center, a practicing speech-language pathologist with over 12 years of experience.
“This was an exceptional opportunity for our students to ask questions and interact with practicing healthcare professionals to learn about the workplace they will soon enter,” said Dr. Cathy Taylor, Dean of the College of Health Sciences.
Ashley Pratt, a senior nursing student from Brentwood, said she learned “that nursing is not how it used to be and being able to adapt to changes locally and nationally is an essential part of nursing care today.” Leslie Vecchio, a second degree nursing student from Nashville, said of the presenters, “it was inspiring to hear them tell their unique stories about how they got to where they are now and it was interesting to hear how the atmosphere on the clinical floor is changing to include more interdisciplinary interaction between practices, and also with patients and families.” She added, “This really emphasized what we are learning here, the importance of teamwork. “
The Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing is preparing the next generation of healthcare professionals with clinical doctorates in nursing practice, occupational therapy and physical therapy, master’s level programs in occupational therapy and nursing for family nurse practitioners, and undergraduate programs in nursing and social work. The College of Health Sciences along with the College of Pharmacy is housed at Belmont University in a state-of-the-art complex featuring advanced laboratories, a health services clinic with a teaching pharmacy, and cutting edge patient simulation technology which has earned the College national recognition as a Laerdal Center of Educational Excellence.
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