This feature is brought to you in partnership with Interim HealthCare.
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, Cynthia Ringling shares about transitioning from the world of nursing to the world of business, the joys of being her own boss and the two LOL-worthy experiences she’s had on the job!
Name: Cynthia Ringling
Franchise location: Colorado Front Range–based out of Colorado Springs with five offices along the 1-25 corridor of Colorado from Pueblo to Fort Collins.
What type of nurse are you? My background outside of home care is from working on a medical/orthopedic/surgical floor in a hospital. I have been in home care since 1992.
Where did you work before starting your franchise, and for how long? I worked at Penrose Community Hospital in Colorado Springs right out of nursing school from 1990 until 1995. I had started doing some home care in 1992 but did not leave the hospital until 1995. At that time, I began taking a more active role in the home care franchise with my husband and his parents, who owned the franchise prior to my husband and I buying it in 2009.
When and why did you choose to leave bedside nursing and start a franchise? The flexibility of home care met our needs as our family grew. I could work fewer hours and still use my nursing degree. Plus, I was able to work with my husband and not only help patients, but also help make a difference in the lives of the people we employ.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? I would have to say working with our clinicians to provide the best possible care to our clients and patients is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I love it when I get to work side by side with office or field employees to solve a problem that impacts the patient, whether it is a business or clinical problem, and see the resolution come to fruition and make someone’s life better.
What’s the best part of being a business owner? I think the best thing about owning a business owner is having a say over the atmosphere and culture of our business. We have the opportunity to create a workplace of respect, professionalism and fun; a place where people want to gather and work hard together to improve someone else’s life. That’s a pretty awesome feeling to go home with at night!
What’s the funniest thing anyone’s ever said to you on the job? Hmm, that’s a tough question. We laugh a lot around here; sometimes it’s laugh or cry, and I’d much rather laugh.
I do have two vivid memories from my time as a floor nurse that still bring a smile to my face whenever I think of them. Both involve elderly gentlemen on the medical floor. The first had orders for a sputum culture and urine analysis (UA). I took in two specimen containers and instructed the patient on the doctor’s orders, finishing with telling him to call me when he had produced both. Shortly after, his call bell rang. When I entered his room he pointed to a specimen container. He had produced both specimens, but put them in the same container! He was not a happy soul when I told him to start over.
The other was a feisty grey-haired man who was confused. He must have had a background working on a ranch because whenever we entered his room, he would use his oxygen tubing as a whip and try to snap us! I got good at dodging the “whip.”
If you could have dinner with any nurse–real or fictional, living or not–who would it be and why? Well, I have to admit, I did some research on this because the only nurses who came to mind were the typical nursing heroes like Florence and Clara, and the not-so-typical like those who created the nursing process that drove me to distraction in nursing school.
I found Edith Cavell, a British nurse serving in German occupied Belgium during WWI. She believed that everyone deserved nursing care, regardless of what side they fought for. She was caught helping Allied soldiers escape Belgium, was arrested and executed for her courage and heroism. I would love to talk to her about her faith and courage in the face of such risk and (in her case, ultimate) death.
What’s one moment from your nursing career that you’ll never forget–either inspiring or humorous? I was still a new nurse working on the medical unit. I worked the night shift and one of my elderly ladies was not doing well. She was non-responsive and very restless. I was concerned and unsure of how to ease her discomfort and anxiety. One of the seasoned nurses I worked with told me, “Just go in and talk to her. Tell her it’s ok to go if she’s ready. Tell her all is well and she doesn’t have to take care of anyone but herself now.” So I did what she said.
It was a very new experience for me, but as I touched her face, stroked her hair and spoke into her ear, she began to calm. The next time I went in to check on her, she had ceased her fight and was at peace in the world beyond this one. That taught me the importance of taking time with every patient, even if it seems they aren’t listening or it stretches me beyond my comforts.
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.