by Bobby Anderson, RN, Staff Writer
Terra Collie, RN is learning a new language.
It’s not Spanish, French or Italian.
“What’s this acronym mean?” Collie says of one of her favorite phrases in her new role. “That’s probably one of the biggest challenges with Integris is learning all the acronyms. They’re really big on their acronyms and everybody knows what they are.”
Her title is already a mouthful – in any language – as administrative director of patient care services for Integris Canadian Valley Hospital.
Since mid-March Collie has been on a mission to absorb as much of the newness as she can.
“I’m over all the inpatient areas with the exception of surgery,” she said of her massive role.
Prior to coming to Yukon Collie spent five years with Community Hospital serving as the director of nursing over ICU, med-surg and ER.
Now she has managers and directors reporting to her instead of doing it all herself.
Before that she was the director of surgery at McBride Orthopedic Hospital.
She also spent a decade at Midwest Regional.
This summer Collie celebrates 26 years as a nurse.
“I was looking to learn some new things, to advance the knowledge that I already had and expand my horizons,” she said. “For me this is an opportunity for growth.”
With a hands-on style, Collie rounds daily on her units. She offices across the hall from a pair of her managers.”
She fell in love with the philosophy of Integris.
“I love their mission and their values. They correlate with my own,” she said.
Basically any way to improve patient care falls under Collie’s purvey. She works directly with staff and physicians to help raise the bar.
“Sometimes I have to find out information so I can be a facilitator,” she said. “I think probably within the last three weeks I feel like I know where things are and I know who to call to move things forward.”
She moved to a much larger organization, but a similar feel with the community-focused Canadian Valley facility.
“There are some similar things about it and there are things that are very different,” she said. “The beauty is with this small hospital setting you have that home-like feeling. However, we have the opportunity to tap into that large organization. So instead of reinventing the wheel here we can certainly access lots of research that’s already been conducted and tap into resources I didn’t have.
“That has been a blessing.”
Getting up to speed has been challenging but her goal is always a simple one.
“My goal here and really anywhere I go is to help the people that help the people,” she said. “The truth is as nurses and healthcare providers we spend our time taking care of patients, exhausting ourselves emotionally and physically. If I can offer them the tools that they need to get the job done and make that an easier thing for them and eliminate any barriers that’s what I want to do.
“I want to empower the nurses. I want to empower the techs.”
One of the items on her short list is beefing up the unit based councils and letting nurses have a louder voice.
She says feels totally empowered by Chief Nursing Officer Jill Hughes, MS, RNC-OB and CEO Teresa Gray, MBA, RN, ANCC.
“(Teresa) exudes her passion,” Collie said. “You just know if you’ve got something to bring and it involves nurses she’s got your back. She’s got your back. Jill’s got your back. We’ve got a powerful team.”
Before her Oklahoma nursing career, Collie worked in multiple states.
During the Y2K buildup she lived in Washington, DC and saw cutting edge healthcare technology advancing. She’s also worked in settings like lower Alabama, where there’s still progress to be made.
“I’ve had every opportunity but all-in-all we always have the exact same goal and that’s to provide the best care we can to our patients,” she said. “Lots of great experiences getting to see how people and systems do things differently really made me appreciate home.”
Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Collie graduated from Westmoore High School but has lived and worked across the country.
“This group of people – I will say – I got to walk into a dynamic corps of leaders and managers and nurses and staff,” Collie said. “The folks here are highly committed. They love what they do. They stand behind our organization and stand behind our CEO and CNO. There’s a lot of transition and newness happening yet it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of chaos going on at the same time.
“That says a lot about an organization.”
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