by Mike Lee, Staff Writer
Tamara Schmid, RN, BSN, RN-BC remembers dialing in a desire to pursue an advanced practice degree at the age of 21 while she was still in nursing school.
“I had shadowed a nurse practitioner and I had studied very hard in school,” Schmid said. “I decided that she had a lot of autonomy, was very experienced and that’s something I wanted to aspire to be for myself.
Schmid has spent the last five years with Integris Southwest Medical. After four years as a staff nurse she accepted a promotion in 2014 to become the team manager of radiology.
“It’s been great,” she said. “Being promoted amongst my peers I’ve had some great support from Integris helping me orient to the role through leadership classes. I’ve had support from other managers and my director and human resources.
“I’m learning all kinds of new things about doing budget and handling policies and employee relations. It’s been a wonderful experience.”
Schmid went from one day being a co-worker to the next day being the boss.
That’s not always an easy thing to do and some nurses can’t – or won’t consider the notion. For some, it’s a little too weird.
“It’s always strange,” Schmid admitted. “I’ve been in a position where I’ve been promoted amongst my peers before. Luckily, I have such a great team. My team has been supportive of it and they’ve been wonderful the whole way.”
Her days consist of coming in at 8 a.m. and prepping outpatient radiology procedures. While those patients are in recovery, Schmid and her staff do pre-calls to schedule more patients for the next couple of weeks.
When they aren’t busy with procedures they travel to the bedside throughout the hospital to insert PICC lines.
“The days I leave work when I’m the most proud is when I’ve felt like we’ve all worked really hard, helped a lot of patients and we’ve done a lot of teamwork and astounded the staff around us by helping as many people as we can,” Schmid said. “All those things together, that’s what makes me happy in my job.”
Five years from now, Schmid sees herself still with Integris. She continually works with nursing education to coordinate where she will go after she earns her degree.
“I’m very happy here and I’d like to to stay with Integris,” Schmid said.
The goal is to begin her advanced practice career in family practice.
“I wanted to get more experience with various diseases and clinical presentations,” Schmid said. “I wanted to deal with more patients. I really just want to do the family practice for the most experience that I can and then I have a great knowledge base to do whatever I’ve decided my fancy is,” she said.
The Putnam City High graduate has stayed close to the metro her entire life.
“At Southwest I love the community hospital feel,” Schmid said. “I used to work at Baptist on night shift and I didn’t get to know a lot of staff. Here, the community feel is so much better. We know the volunteers on a first-name basis. It’s not so much about rank here it’s more about people.”
Seven-year-old and five-year-old daughters wait for Schmid at home. Both think that what their mother does is super cool.
“Last weekend Integris had a hispanic health fair and I asked my seven-year-old to come volunteer,” Schmid said. “She went with me and was so excited about it and had a great time. I think it’s important to teach the children the importance of volunteering but it also gives them the chance to see what mommy gets to do every day.”