"I have always had a calling to help others. That motivation is strong and has been the guiding force in the roles I have held as a nurse. A nurse first, and leader second."
When it comes to creating the healthcare talent pipeline, Jeffery L. Hudson-Covolo not only has a vision, he's making it happen. Hudson-Covolo wears many hats including:
- Vice President for Patient Care Services & Chief Nurse Executive at Sierra View Medical Center
- Visiting Professor, Chamberlain College - School of Nursing
- Adjunct Professor, National University – School of Health & Human Services
- Board Chair, Lindsay High School Health Academy
- Member of the Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County's Health Care Advisory
And in his "downtime," he also helps expose 70 student interns from the Porterville High School Healthcare Pathways Program to various roles at Sierra View Medical Center during the school year. He has also helped plan the 2017 Growing Health Leaders Conference happening on February 23rd!
Whew! Still with us? Hope so! Because we have a great interview with him to share with you!
Was there a something or someone who sparked your interest in the health care field? If so, please tell us about it and how this has translated into where you've found yourself in your career.
At a very young at about 5 or 6, my grandmother and mother worked at a hospital in downtown San Luis Obispo. That old hospital had ramps in it in the middle 1960’s and I can remember running up and down the ramps. I was fascinated watching the nurses and orderlies pushing patients up and down those ramps in the hospital. The real light bulb went off when I was 15-years old and my great grandmother was admitted to a 3-bed ward in the hospital after fracturing her sternal bone in her chest. I was visiting her one day when the patient next to her went into cardiac arrest. I remember the emergency team responding the critical event and I could see what they were doing and what they were saying. I remember telling my great grandmother I was going to do that when I grew up.
What is your vision for college and career readiness for our region? How do you see your role in it?
I have sought out opportunities to bring a 4-year nursing program to Porterville, and last year we had that plan come fruition on the Porterville Community College Campus. We currently have 22 RNs from Sierra View Medical Center in that inaugural class of BSN students. Additionally, I am the board chair on the Lindsay High School Healthcare Pathways Program. This is an emerging program and I feel as a community member, we must provide access for high school students to be exposed to healthcare settings, so we can promote early entry to a health care career. I fully support the Porterville High School Healthcare Pathways Program with over 70-student interns exposed to settings in the hospital during the school year. We added the surgical area last year as a rotation.
What motivates you right now?
I have always had a calling to help others. That motivation is strong and has been the guiding force in the roles I have held as a nurse. A nurse first, and leader second. I love going to work every day. I reflect each night when I go home - "What did I contribute today? How did I demonstrate that I am a better person to those I have the privilege to serve and protect?"
What skills and/or supports do you think are critical to the professional success of the next generation?
Nurses must continue to serve for the right reason. If you are just in it for the wages and not to serve and provide service, I predict you will not be successful and ultimately you will be ineffective in your connection to patients and families.
When you think about all the incredible people you get to work with, what is a quality (about any of them) that stands out to you? Why is this quality important to you?
I work with incredible colleagues who understand the vision I have set for our organization and they see the value that the patient is the most important center of all we do. It is important that we are transparent and open to errors when they occur, but more importantly we constantly improve systems and processes that prevent harm or errors. It takes an engaged team of healthcare providers to put quality, safety and patient care experience first.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it?
My first job was the RN on the night shift in a 7-bed emergency department. Right after taking my national boards and finishing my orientation, I was on my own each night with a technician within 3-months. I learned, first of all, I was crazy to have accepted that position and role working by myself after just grading from school, but I sure learned a lot about taking care of critical patients and trauma. I had to manage all seven beds on my own and a full lobby at times. Today, that would never fly. This experience helped me become the nurse I am today. I believe as nurses we must: Love, Learn, Serve