Almost three years ago, after spending 20-plus years in the healthcare field, Marcheta came to Independence Plus, Inc. (IPI). Since then she has been working hard and we have been relying on her as a key member of the scheduling and recruiting team. We know Marcheta as a calming spirit who cares deeply about the work that she does and the people we serve. Our nurses, patients, and their families know her as the woman on the other end of the phone during the day and after-hours on-call, doing her very best to make sure all of their shifts are covered and their needs are met. We sat down with her recently to find out why the job of the scheduling team is so important, what she has learned from her role, and who inspires her.
Q: Your title is Senior Healthcare Recruiter. As a key member of IPI’s Home Nursing Scheduling Department, what does a day on the job look like for you and your team?
A: We work all day to fill open shifts, cover call-offs, and maintain the staff we have in the field. We have over a couple hundred nurses, some working full-time hours but many doing this work as an extra job. We accommodate for a lot of people’s needs and schedules. Then there are the families who call and want their “favorite” nurse. Trying to match everyone’s wants can be a struggle. We understand and we see that it’s important to them. I personally want to be able to help them but when I can’t, it bothers me. That’s just how the day goes, and it is non-stop every day. We may get a shift off the board but we don’t have time to celebrate it because another one comes up.
Q: What have you learned in your role?
A: To listen. I’m learning how not to take things personally, but I can’t help it sometimes. I care and I take pride in what I do. I look at each patient as if he or she is my family member. I want to be sure I would want each nurse to be with my family member. I’m also learning new ways to relieve stress. It can be a challenge but I have learned to accept people the way they are.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your position?
A: My favorite part is being successful and getting a great nurse into a family’s home. It’s a feeling I cannot explain. Even though it only lasts for one-tenth of a second, there is nothing better to me than knowing I was able to staff a case. And the people here… everyone works very hard. The scheduling team is awesome! We are a caring and dedicated family and I love them.
Q: What is something about your job that would surprise us?
A: The high expectation that people have of the scheduling department. We do all we can to make it happen but I wish everyone could spend a week doing this job, because it can be stressful. I hate to leave for lunchtime because I feel that if I do, that’s when the call I’ve been waiting for to fill a shift may come through!
Q: What have you learned from working with our patients and their families?
A: How to deal with the family dynamics. You have to go in open-minded with every single family. We may have patients with the same diagnosis, but the families will be completely different. They have different needs and requirements and we try to deal with each of them the way they want, the best that we can.
Q: What do you think makes IPI different from other home care agencies?
A: If you work in the field that we are in, I imagine that you have to care. But we at Independence Plus really care a lot. But, as hard as we work, we are not always able to be in control. We schedule a month out but we sometimes still need to make multiple shift switches, moving several nurses, just to provide a trained and oriented nurse for each patient. After all that work, it can feel heart-wrenching when the patients’ families are upset to hear their schedule is different and another nurse is coming. This kind of call chokes me up every time.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: My dad. He is the most the selfless man I know, there is nothing he wouldn’t do for anyone. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for him and I always want to make him proud. I never want him to think I wouldn’t do right by people, as he taught me.
Q: If you could do any other job, what would it be?
A: If I had the stomach for it, probably a nurse!
Q: What words do you live by?
A: Conceive, believe, and achieve. If you can conceive it and believe it, you will achieve it. And try to do right by people, because you get back what you give.