Story and photo by James Coburn, Staff Writer
Angela Beddor, RN, knows all about team leaderhip. She serves as the director of operations at OCOM North (Oklahoma Center for Orthopedic & Multi-Specialty Surgery, LLC). Beddor also has a clinical role and is involved in all aspects of nursing care.
“It makes me feel really good knowing we have such great people here caring for our community,” Beddor said.
Three operating rooms at OCOM North run Monday-Friday for outpatient procedures. OCOM South has inpatient beds for total joint replacements that are not provided at OCOM North. The medical team at the 11,000-square-foot OCOM North facility specializes in outpatient oral surgery, GYN, orthopedics, general surgery, ophthalmology, podiatry, pain management, plastic surgery, and urology.
Beddor said patients and their family members enjoy that the front door is a brief walk from the parking lot.
“One of the things I really love about OCOM and especially OCOM North is that we are so small,” Beddor said of the “small community vibes.”
Beddor’s nursing background involved a large hospital in Comanche County where she interacted with only her unit unless she had to receive a patient from another unit. She loves the broader interaction she has at OCOM. The surgery center employs about 30 staff members on their busiest days. That number would include about 15 registered nurses.
“They are very motivated to take care of the patients and to treat them like family which I think is lost in larger facilities,” she said. “But it is not here and that is our main priority. Our goal is to make you feel comfortable and safe on your day of surgery. And, I think that every one of our staff embraces that really well.”
The surgical center strategizes its time wisely in promoting best practices. OCOM North has a nurse educator who is responsible for coordinating continuing education for the staff. Regular drills are provided for the disease of Malignant Hyperthermia. MH causes a rapid acceleration of body temperature, causing severe muscle contractions under general anesthesia with one or more of the following drugs: halothane, isoflurane, sevoflurane, desflurane or succinylcholine.
The LearnShare communication platform facilitates continuing education on a quarterly basis. Frequent in-services opportunities educate nurses about new procedures, or procedures not done in a while. Additionally, Resuscitation Quality Improvement (RQI) works well with Code Blue drills and other standard life-saving patient care.
Beddor became a registered nurse in 2014 after earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the OU College of Nursing on the campus of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, located in Oklahoma City. She had a brief stint in labor and delivery upon graduation before moving to an endoscopy lab. She wanted to support mothers on their best of days and comfort them on their worst days.
Her career has evolved into being part of a surgical team. OCOM nurses are involved in surgeries five days a week, but anticipating a surgery is not routine for patients and can sometimes be scary for them.
“I think especially going to sleep and have something major done to your body is a really scary thing for most people,” she continued. “I love that we’re able to care for them during that really sensitive time. And that starts the moment they walk in the door here.”
The majority of nurses at OCOM North are cross-trained in patient recovery as well as pre-operative assessments for physical and psychosocial care.
Nursing team members are open to answering questions patients may have. They notice when a patient feels insecure. Some patients do not voice their anxiety. However, the nurses take time to talk to all their patients at the bedside.
“Because we are so small it’s easy to frequently check on the patients,” Beddor said of the reassurance that nurses provide to their patients as best as they can. Nurses circulate regularly to check on patients.
“That is one way we are able to be inviting and open and help them to be at ease,” she said.
She has learned a lot about the fragility of life and its endurance.
“No matter how planned things are, how ready you are for something — it’s just being able to role, essentially with the punches,” she said. “Things change constantly.”
No matter what, she knows the nursing team is continuously trying to offer the best care they need to give each patient.
“In the end it’s going to be OK. Trust yourself.”
She energizes herself with activities that bring out her personal best. She loves to hike and spend time with her family and their golden retriever.
“I just love to be outside when it’s not too hot,” she said.
For more information about Oklahoma Center for Orthopedic & Multi-Specialty Surgery, visit https://ocomhospital.com/careers/