At KVC Hospitals, our nurses administer medications to youth and help assess medical health concerns and keep medical records. They also make strong connections with the youth in their care. Meet Kate, a Registered Nurse who works as an Admissions Nurse at KVC Prairie Ridge Hospital. She is one of the first people to show a child and family coming to KVC that we care. Read our Q&A with her below to learn more about working at a children’s psychiatric hospital, her role and what drives her passion for working with children and families.
Why did you choose a role at a children’s psychiatric hospital?
Kate: During school, working at KVC Prairie Ridge Hosptial was one of the only two clinical’s that I enjoyed attending. And really I didn’t expect to like it. There’s so much stigma around psychiatric hospitals and mental illness. Now I can’t imagine working in any other hospital because I love it so much. I love who I work with, everyone has such a great heart and is so helpful. I really love working with the kids here – they’re fun, and just like any other kid you’d meet.
What is a typical day for a nurse at KVC Hospitals?
Kate: There isn’t a typical day because every day is so different. As an admissions nurse, I am one of the first faces you will see upon arrival to KVC. We greet the families in the lobby when they come in, show them to a private room for admission and have them start filling out the initial paperwork. This includes things like letting us know of any medications their child is on, medical and psychiatric history and other important information. Then, I sit with the family and ask intake questions with the child and get to know what makes them happy, what they are struggling with and just try to understand who they are as a person. Then, I go over medication needs with the parents. After all of that, I escort the child to their unit and make sure they are settled in and comfortable and have met the unit staff members.
What do you wish people knew about your role and its impact on kids?
Kate: I think people don’t realize how much we interact with families on admission and that it is a group effort with the whole family. Without knowing background information on a kids family, you can miss a lot of stuff. It’s kind of like admitting the whole family for the benefit of the child.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Kate: There are so many rewarding things about working here. I really love talking with kids. Every child I work with is going through something, and it’s not just my job but my privilege to help them feel safe and comfortable at KVC. This is the place that’s going to help them get better and I take that to heart every time I interact with the kids. They are so fun and I try to make every interaction with me a positive one for them.
Kate is just one of the many caring employees who work at KVC Hospitals to help youth with behavioral health challenges. We’re always in need of compassionate people to join our team. If you are interested in a career in social work, browse the open positions on our careers page.