“Do I need galoshes to work in the Pacific Northwest?” Jennell Taylor, RN, may have that answer for you. In our second installment of ‘Best Cities’ (read the first one here), Taylor, a Registered Nurse, tells us why the spinal cord unit at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane, Washington, is the best place to work and why Spokane was an ideal choice for her and her family.
Scrubs: First, the stats.
Jennell: St. Luke’s, a 102-bed facility, is the largest freestanding hospital in the Inland Northwest region dedicated solely to medical rehabilitation. The main population we serve is patients who suffer stroke, orthopedic, brain, cardiac and spinal cord injuries and illnesses. Combined with three outpatient clinics, St. Luke’s provide services to more than 7,200 patients each year.
Scrubs: Why do you like the area you work in?
Jennell: My specialty and my heart reside with spinal cord patients. I enjoy being part of a complete team—with therapists and doctors—in working with patients and their families to maintain quality of life after injury or illness. Patients become like family during their stay. I love being part of their lives and witnessing their successes, milestones and even setbacks. It can be very emotional at times, with tears of joy and sorrow. Education is a huge part of being a rehab nurse, and our patients and their family members rely on our knowledge daily.
Scrubs: What are the benefits and what is the atmosphere like?
Jennell: St. Luke’s has been extremely supportive and flexible during my time here. They allowed me to change my schedule to accommodate my schooling, provided me with extra shifts when needed and continue to give me flexibility to care for my children.
Scrubs: How does it compare to other places you’ve worked? How competitive is the pay?
Jennell: St. Luke’s is the perfect-sized facility. It’s smaller than the acute hospitals and facilities in the area, which in some cases pay a higher rate. Personally, I much rather prefer the atmosphere a smaller facility provides. Everyone at St. Luke’s is a familiar face and willing to help each other. I enjoy my job too much to leave and go where the big money is, and I believe you’d hear the same from nurses throughout this city.
Scrubs: What kind of nurse is this area best suited for (new grad, particular specialty, single mom, etc.)?
Jennell: The city I chose is a place that any nurse could work in, no matter what your specialty or marital status is, or how many children you have.
Scrubs: How do you feel your quality of life compares with nurses in other cities? Why did you choose your city?
Jennell: There is no other place like this city. It’s smaller than Seattle (across the state of Washington) and offers a very friendly, family-like environment with the amenities of bigger cities. Living here allowed me the opportunity to stay at home with my two children while going to nursing school and working as an on-call nurse’s assistant. Because of the lower cost of living, my husband worked to support our family, and while it wasn’t easy living on one income, it was well worth the hard work—it’s our home!
Is your city/hospital/clinic the best place to work? Tell us why!