The one-and-only Teri Porter is a nursing legend at Baptist Health. Her credentials are varied and complex (BSN, RN, NPD/DC), and even her title hints at her intricate work pattern: Inpatient Nurse Champion for Epic on the IS team. But just recently, Teri added another achievement to her nursing career. She was nominated for the Compassionate Nurse Award. “I got a phone call letting me know that I had been nominated,” she said, recounting her surprise. “This year we weren’t able to have a ceremony due to the coronavirus, but I should be receiving something in the mail in the next few days.” We asked Teri how she was able to put compassion into her career. “I just think that’s kind of who I am,” she said simply.
I’ve always said that nursing is a calling, and I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was in high school. Twenty-five years later, I’m still 100% sure that I chose the right career path. I’m a caretaker by nature. Even though I’m not at the bedside with patients anymore, I still have a heavy focus in patient safety and patient care. The cool thing about my job now is that I also get to focus on my colleagues and take care of nurses. I care about what they need and getting them the right tools for the job. It’s neat to have a double focus on patients and staff, and my focus is getting the nurses what they need to look after their patients.
With her position working alongside the IS team, Teri is able to do exactly that.
I’ve been doing a lot of work with our Epic integrations. I’ve been looking at compliance rates with that, trouble-shooting work flow issues, helping supervisors interpret those reports, and helping nurses understand the work flows and how they vary. That’s been my major focus and a big project relating to patient safety. We’ve been working on improving our rate for the whole year.
To her, the patterns in nursing are clear from the clinical side to the technical side. To others, she has a gift.
Somebody recently introduced me by saying “Teri’s bilingual—she speaks the technical side and the clinical side.” Now that I think of it, it’s a great explanation of what I do; I marry the clinical and technical side of medicine into one language. I work with the IT technical people, but I translate it for my clinical side, and vice versa.
“You know, it was exciting to get that phone call,” Teri continued.
Sometimes working in a job away from the bedside can be behind-the-scenes. It does feel good to know that someone notices your hard work, especially when it is someone recognizing your heart. They see that you still care about people and patients. It really was a bright spot during the difficult times recently.
Here’s to Teri for always being the bright spot of Baptist Health nursing!