by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
When you were a child, did you ever listen to someone tell a story that was so interesting that you were mesmerized by the words that were said? Did you wonder what it would be like to do some of the same things you were hearing about? That is the case for Shea Little, RN, BSN, CCM, as she recalls hearing her step grandpa, who was a general surgeon, tell many stories of love and dedication to the profession. From the time she heard the stories, Shea knew that she was inspired to be a nurse and she didn’t let anything stop her.
Shea and her husband, started Eiffel Medical in 2015. “At the time, our office consisted of the two of us plus one other nurse and one assistant. Our office was an old CVS pharmacy until we could purchase our own building. Since then, we have grown to a staff of five nurse case managers and four office assistants,” she said with a smile. “We have certainly come a long way.”
Growing up in Ponca City, OK, Shea attended the University of Oklahoma for nursing. Shea has been a nurse for fifteen years and has been in Nurse Case Management for ten years. Asking Shea why she is a nurse, she replied, “I wanted to do something in my career that would be challenging, interesting and make a difference in peoples lives daily. In the nursing profession, a nurse deals with many aspects of patient care. I love the fact that there are so many specializations and career paths available to nurses; acute care setting, home health, case management or involved in research. A nurse can be a practitioner, work in a leadership role or become an independent entrepreneur,” Shea commented.
Working in Nurse Case Management, Shea wears many hats. “I coordinate and attend all medical appointments, review medical records, communicate with doctors and their office staff and other healthcare professionals as well as insurance adjusters, employers, and attorneys to maintain continuity of care. I am consistently reviewing medical records to ensure the best plan of care to optimize our patient’s outcome,” she said. “It keeps me busy but I love everything about my job,” she added.
What is your biggest reward as a nurse? “There is nothing more rewarding than helping patients and families during their most vulnerable times. In fact, I feel like my work with patients had more of an impact on me as a human being than I ever had on them,” Shea replied.
If Shea were to give advise to someone going into the medical field, she would tell them, “Treat the patient and their family as if they were your own, and never treat a patient as though they are just a number on a chart. Be sure to communicate clearly and compassionately with them and learn to really listen to what they have to say.”
When Shea is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Nick and their four children; Payton, eighteen, Cannon and Boston, fourteen, and Addison, twelve. They have one pet; a Golden-doodle named Duke. Shea enjoys being outdoors and loves gardening and cooking.
What changes have you made due to the Coronavirus? “The first month of the Coronavirus was a new challenge for everyone for a lot of reasons. We had to act quickly to protect our staff by closing our office. Closing the office led to many challenges including trying to get our employees set up to work from home for an unknown amount of time. During that time, we realized how important technology is to our daily life. Our nurses focused more on telemedicine and we did our best to maintain a high level of care even though we had many restrictions. Since that time, we have re-opened our office, but still cautiously moving forward,” Shea said.
Asking Shea how the Coronavirus changed her life, she said, “It has changed the way I look at travel, being social and basically our movement throughout society. I now judge activities by their level of risk. All of our nurses wear masks when in contact with patients and staff. We have to take an extra step of precaution to not only protect ourselves, but to also protect the patients. When we decide on activities as a family, I take many issues into consideration.” Shea is a passionate, dedicated, driven and hardworking individual that loves her job. When asking Shea what word best describes her life, she replied, “Rewarding.”