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Kimberly Tucker chose a nursing career because of its primary role of helping others. Now she looks forward to her new assignment as a clinical administrator for the chance to take that caregiving to a new level.
A Mobile native who earned her nursing degree at the University of South Alabama, Tucker joined the USA Medical Center staff in 2003, working in the surgical-trauma ICU.
“Surgical-trauma ICU is very fast-paced; patients are critically ill and there are lots of decisions to be made in collaboration with other staff,” Tucker says. “But being part of helping change someone’s life is very rewarding, and I enjoyed it immensely.”
From there, she moved to the recovery room. “It’s a different animal. It can be intense, but in that role you provide comfort — provide a blanket or medication for pain — but your primary goal is to assist the patient, to increase comfort and to do a lot of educating.
“These were two very different types of roles, but I enjoyed both,” she says.
Now she’s looking forward to yet another role as clinical administrator, helping to keep things functioning smoothly on the evening shifts when other members of the administrative team aren’t there.
“I’m excited and honored to be selected,” she says. “USA is known for its commitment to high quality, patient-centered care.”
She especially values the learning atmosphere, where multidisciplinary teams evaluate what they could have done for a patient and what they will do next. “It amazes me — the commitment to do what’s best for every single patient we treat.”
She knows she’ll bring another valuable perspective to the role.
Her son, Jackson Nelson Tucker, was born three months premature and spent several months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital.
“It’s an eye-opening experience to see what it’s like to be a family member and feel helpless,” Tucker says. “It’s life changing, especially for a nurse. You realize how something as small as an encouraging word or a cup of coffee can make your day.”
“Looking at the situation from the other side changed and improved my work practice,” says Tucker.
Away from the hospital, Tucker is active in her church and enjoys community service projects. She is also working toward a master’s degree in executive nursing administration at USA.
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