Have you ever thought about leaving the bedside…for the boardroom? In partnership with Interim HealthCare, we’re talking to nurses across the country who have done just that! Here, Darlyn Baker shares about transitioning from the world of nursing to the world of business, the funniest thing she’s ever heard on the job and a “you know you’re a nurse when” story that you’ll think could come from your own career!
Name: Darlyn Baker, RN
Franchise location: Bakersfield, CA
What type of nurse are you? A great one!! 😉 Med-surg was what I enjoyed most when I worked in the hospital for 27 years, but I have peds, L&D and psych experience.
Where did you work before starting your franchise and for how long? Mercy Hospital, Bakersfield, CA – 15 years; nursing instructor (concurrently) – Bakersfield College, Bakersfield, CA – 9 years; Elizabeth General Hospital, Elizabeth, NJ – 7 years; Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Warren, OH – 3 years and Seoul Military Hospital as a DAC (Department of Army Civilian) – 13 months; Akron City Hospital, Akron, OH – 1 year.
When and why did you choose to leave bedside nursing and start a franchise? The delivery of care had changed several times, for the worse, since I graduated from a 3-year diploma school in 1966 and the patient was no longer the focus. Nursing was always a service but I realized it was becoming a commodity. Secondly, I saw the patients leaving sicker and quicker and I realized their family/friends had to do what it took me years to feel comfortable doing. With my experience and confidence, I knew I could make a difference as I felt at ease explaining how procedures are to be done with what the family had available in their home.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Being in total control of how care is provided, choosing competent clinicians and the freedom of being my own boss.
What’s the best part of being a business owner? Being able to make changes instantly, unlike “paralysis by analysis” in a corporate setting. Having the opportunity to take my ideas and put them into practice, and job security.
What’s the funniest thing anyone’s ever said to you on the job? “You look too young to have grey hair.” That was in 1979 when I was 34 years old! 🙂
Can you share an “only in nursing!” story from your own career with us? Only in nursing would you start an IV, admit a patient back from surgery, get someone a pain shot, admit a new patient, get someone fresh water, clean a patient who was incontinent, remove sutures, walk a patient in the hall, console a family, pass meds, insert a Foley catheter, hang another IV bag all within minutes of each task and still smile while gritting your teeth when a doctor bellows, “I’m here to make rounds. I need a nurse.”
If you could have dinner with any nurse–real or fictional, living or not–who would it be and why? It would be RN Melva R. She was an evening supervisor at a hospital who worked above and beyond her scheduled shifts to cover for illness, vacation, etc. When the minimum requirement for an RN became a bachelor’s degree, which she did not have, she was relieved of her many years of service and reassigned to the long-term care unit. She was just a few years away from retirement. I felt so bad for her as I was concerned about her self-worth. I told myself then, if I ever had an opportunity to do something nice for her, I would.
Well, that opportunity came when I became a business owner and she had retired from the hospital by then. I hired her and she used her nursing skills to provide care to a child in the child’s home. Realizing the work ethic and value of those who were retired, I began my Retire to Hire program. And it was all because of Melva. She retired from our company a few years ago. I’ve lost touch with her, but her demotion is something that will remain in my heart forever. I think of her often and try to make a difference for at least one person every day. I never talked with her about how what happened to her affected me. I would love to have dinner with her to tell her how much she was appreciated and what a great nurse and caring person she was.
Interim HealthCare® provides the flexible assignments you need to fit your life and your priorities. As America’s leading provider of home care, hospice and healthcare staffing, chances are, we have the right assignment to fit your life’s needs as well as the resources and opportunities to help you with your career. To apply online, visit www.careersbyweb.com. To find out more about becoming a franchisee, visit www.interimfranchising.com. To like us on Facebook, click here.