Pam (Herschberger) '78 Beitlich

Major: Nursing, Career: Nursing Administrator at Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Hospital and Studer Group coach. Pam Beitlich presented a continuing nursing education seminar on “Passion and Purpose in Nursing” during A Hesston College Homecoming 2013.

The face of health care

Nursing is the largest health care profession with about 3.1 million R.N.s in the country. A career in health care – in nursing – requires lifelong learning because things change so quickly within the field.

Passion for nursing

The public rates nurses as the most honest, ethical and trusted of occupations. Patients want to be cared for by a friendly, caring, empathetic team. They trust us to keep them safe from medical errors and infections. I believe in my heart and soul that it is the nurse who is responsible at the end of the day. That is why it is so important that nurses know how to connect with and get to know their patients. When I was a new nurse, I didn’t realize the impact I had on patients, and that communication – verbal, nonverbal and listening skills – was a primary factor in effective care. Nursing administrators look for employees with both excellent clinical and communication skills because those are the people who are able to effectively care for the many aspects of the whole person.

The view from everywhere

After graduating from Hesston, I completed my B.S.N. at Goshen (Ind.) College while working in the local hospital’s emergency room, and then completed my M.S.N. at the University of South Florida (Tampa). I am working on a doctorate in health care leadership from Florida State University (Tallahassee) which I am projected to finish in May 2014.

I work as the Nursing Administrator at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and as a coach for Studer Group, which works with health care organizations to improve outcomes, including patient satisfaction scores, employee turnover rates and making health care a better place in general. Overall, I have more than 30 years of experience in patient care, medical staff relations and nursing administration.

Educate and nurture

Hesston College did and continues to do a very good job of holding true to its mission statement. I have fond memories stemming from the college’s commitment to “educate and nurture each student,” and of the vision to be a “transforming community” – it was for me, and I know it continues to be for others.

As a student in the nursing program, I felt so much support and nurturing. I had one-to-one contact with professors who gave me confidence and made me want to learn and get better. The experience and education I got at Hesston is one I could never have gotten at a lot of universities. My career has been years in the making – starting with Hesston College – and I know that every day I have to be better. I haven’t gone everywhere yet, but I have the capacity to.

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