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MOBILE, Alabama -- Kimberly Tucker has been named nurse manager of the medical/surgical/cardiac unit and the new neuroscience critical care unit for USA Medical Center, assuming her duties officially on Feb. 1.
A Mobile native who recently earned a Masters degree in Executive Nursing Administration from the University of South Alabama, Tucker joined the Medical Center staff in 2003. A nurse who loves working at the bedside, taking care of patients and inspiring her team to accomplish their best work, Tucker has a passion for critical care nursing and sees her new role as an opportunity to help coordinate the interdisciplinary approach necessary to provide individualized care.
“As a nurse manager, my role is to focus on the delivery of high-quality care which results in desired clinical outcomes,” says Tucker. “It is my job to ensure that we’re always operating with this goal in mind.”
Beyond that, she sees her role as keeping abreast of new and cutting edge treatments, therapies, medications and interventions. “We want to be part of that. As a health system, we are always in search of evidence-based research that validates new practice approaches to benefit our patients. It is a team effort to explore techniques to improve the care we provide. My goal is to make sure that we exceed the expectations of our patients and keep raising that bar.”
Tucker particularly looks forward to opening a new neuroscience critical care unit.
“Neurosciences are one of our centers of excellence,” added Lisa Mestas, associate administrator and chief nursing officer at USA Medical Center. In addition to a specialty in traumatic injuries of the brain, “we’re the only place in the region that does epilepsy monitoring for seizures.” Patients are cared for in a controlled environment so that medications can be given slowly until a seizure is induced. Because of the controlled environment, the procedure helps identify exactly where in the brain seizures are starting so that new treatments can be more precisely focused and more effective.
Mestas, who has known Tucker since her post in the recovery room, is delighted with Tucker’s promotion. From the earliest days working together, says Mestas, she recognized Tucker as “a natural critical thinker and a natural-born leader.” Mestas has supported Tucker throughout her career and served as Tucker’s preceptor during her master’s degree study.
Tucker is determined that her new position will not keep her away from direct patient care.
“I love taking care of patients. I could do it all day long,” Tucker says, “and I plan to maintain a hands-on approach in this new leadership role.”
It’s what brought her to nursing in the first place.
Tucker is never far from the bedside. When the other nurses in her units are extra busy, she expects to be there hanging IV fluids, giving medications, or bringing coffee to family members.
“I didn’t realize that nursing would be such a fulfilling career,” she says. “I thought I would like it, but I never knew how much. That first day I was so grateful, just to be part of it. I thought it was God’s favor. He placed me in a position to be able to help people when they can’t help themselves; when they are at their most vulnerable.”
Away from the hospital, Tucker enjoys spending time with her son, Jackson. Active in her church, she said she enjoys taking part in community service projects: “I guess I’m a servant at heart.”
As a state-certified Level 1 Trauma and Burn Center, University of South Alabama Medical Center serves as the major referral center for patients with traumatic injuries from southern Alabama, southeast Mississippi, and portions of northwest Florida. Last year alone, USA Medical Center served patients in 53 counties.
The Medical Center’s designated trauma team - which includes around-the-clock trauma surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, and neurosurgeons - treats an average of five critically injured patients a day, which is more than 1,700 people a year. As the go-to facility for the area’s toughest emergencies, USA Medical Center is capable of providing total care for every aspect of injury, from prevention through rehabilitation. USA Medical Center is a part of USA Health.
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