Appraising One’s Performance

For this interview, I interviewed Trent Linton who is currently a CRM Administrator for First American Title and has been in last position for just over 2 years. He served in the United States Marine Corps as a Captain for eight years as a Logistics Officer. Following the Marine Corps, he was the Director of Customer Service and Implementation at the School Improvement Network for eight years.

What criteria scale do you use for performance appraisals?

“The Marine Corps used the best scale I have seen. The scale we used was the A through G scale, A being the worst and G being the best. I liked it because it was a thorough evaluation and the Marine Corps has a system which averaged the scores of your evaluator against other evaluators so that it was a fair system for all. This means that if one evaluator usually rated lower and one usually rated higher the pattern of how that evaluator rated Marines was considered. I also like it because it reflected the high standards Marines expect of themselves.”

How long do your evaluations typically last?

“Evaluations should typically last at least one hour. You want to be sure to put thought into preparing for the evaluation and be sure to spend the appropriate or adequate amount of time to conduct a thorough evaluation. “

Do you include peer evaluations? Why or why not?

“In the Marine Corps we did not include peer evaluations, but we would sometimes consult with other leaders on the evaluation for feedback. They trusted the leadership to make the right evaluation and did not require peer evaluation. Plus, evaluating subordinates had different criteria than evaluating peers.”

How frequently do you hold performance appraisals?

“For junior Marines (lieutenants) performance appraisals were conducted twice a year. For senior Marines they were conducted once a year. I, personally, think twice a year is better overall because it is more effective. It forces dialogue around performance. As a leader I better evaluated people twice a year, but a good leader always mentally evaluates people not matter how many evaluations are conducted each year.”

How do your performance appraisals tie into determining salary raises for your employees?

“In the Marine Corps performance appraisals were directly correlated to salary raises and rank advancements. The performance evaluation determined the salary raise and whether or not someone received an advancement in rank.”

Do you provide an opportunity for employees to express concerns about their performance or growth prior to beginning a formal evaluation?

“Yes, I tried to maintain a dialogue. I felt like I needed to talk about those kinds of things. I had an open-door policy so that people knew they could come and talk to me anytime about those issues or their concerns.”

Do you feel like your current protocol for performance appraisals have lead to stronger relationships between you and your employees?

“No. In the Marine Corps it is just one aspect of developing a relationship with employees. I feel like there is more than one way to do that. In fact there are better ways to develop relationships with employees.”

How do you organize your performance appraisals with so many employees?

“Scheduling and prioritizing time to do it. It has to be done so planning and scheduling is vital, especially because salary raises, and rank advancements were directly dependent on evaluations.”

What are some positive outcomes you see from conducting performance appraisals?

“Performance appraisals helps employees see where they are at and where they can improve. You can talk about goals and what they want to accomplish. You can help them get there. You can also talk about their strengths and weaknesses as it directly relates to the job.”

Are there any negative outcomes you see from conducting performance appraisals?

“The biggest negative outcome I have found is If someone gets surprised or gets a bad evaluation that they are surprised by. But if a leader has been doing their job, they would be talking to that employee all along trying to help them improve so that when performance evaluations occur there are no surprises.”

What role does goal setting and accomplishment play when it comes to evaluating your employees’ performance?

“Goal setting definitely plays a part. You want to see if the employee is taking the initiative to accomplish the goal or if they are just saying it to get a good evaluation.”

How do you handle underperforming or problematic employees?

“I have found that you have to meet with them regularly. You have to talk to them and help teach them. You have to help them recognize what they are doing wrong and how they can improve. You have to meet with them regularly and give them constructive feedback.”

 From this interview I learned a lot about what it takes to perform to the highest standard, as well as what it takes to conduct a performance evaluation. It was interesting during this interview to realize that most of the experience in performance appraisals that Mr. Linton drew from were from his time in the Marine Corps. He held a huge leadership position at The School Improvement Network, but his strongest experiences came from his time in the military. That showed me how powerfully leadership skills are developed in the military but how you develop skills often times during the hardest times of life. It made me very grateful for his service. Despite that, I was also impressed with how Mr. Linton tried to be a friend to his subordinates and had an open-door policy. This allowed an open channel of communication which I’m sure helped solve and prevent problems before they occurred, rather than having to correct problems after the fact. I also thought it was interesting how he preferred performing more than one appraisal each year. It makes perfect sense that this would inspire increased or improved performance more regularly because employees knew exactly where they stood and what they needed to do to score better next time. Overall, the interview was very helpful for me and I hope that I can implement some of the skills into my practice just as Mr. Linton did.

Worth the Standing O?

The unit was interesting to me. A huge part of leadership is performance appraisals of team members and staff. I think I forget about this element because I am not one for confrontation, especially if it is bad. But I have realized how vital this is to not only a unit’s or department’s success but to the individual and their ability to improve and become the best they can be. It is all about helping an individual improve so they can become the best product they can be. It also is huge for employee retention. I love the example of the manager who met with each person on her team every month, despite the fact that she had over 100 employees on her unit. What a commitment to her team! One of the hardest things for me when it comes to performance evaluation as an employee is remembering my goals throughout the year. I know I have a level of responsibility to be aware of what the goals are and how I can accomplish them but it is hard. There are so many things to do during a shift to take care of patients and then you through on top of that all of the education you have to do. There is so much to be done! I have often suggested to my manager that he would have better performance if there was a way for him or our team leads to meet with each staff member multiple times throughout the year to discuss goals and how people are doing. I for one, know that would help me so much. And now, Intermountain is implementing quarterly check ins, which I think is so great! I had my first one this last week and it was so helpful to see where I am at in my goals and how I can improve. I feel a new sense of motivation to do better because I was reminded what I need to do. The fact that this manager met with her team, she had clear communication and they knew where they stood. I’m sure she had great retention and high performing staff. All in all, a solid performance evaluation can make or break an employee and either strengthen or weaken a team. They are absolutely vital to progression for the individual and as a whole.

The team activities were great this week. Again, I feel very fortunate to have the team that I do because everybody is motivated to do the work and do it well. We are all respectful of each other and each do our part. The fact that we had three discussions this week, it was kind of a lot but it was good discussion. I was slightly worried about my post regarding the greatest leader of all time because I chose a religious leader and I didn’t know where some of my teammates stood regarding religion. But, I felt strongly enough that the leader I chose was in fact the greatest of all time that I decided to do. I tried really hard to stick to the facts and not push my opinions or beliefs on anyone. Surprisingly I think it went over well, granted I didn’t see anyones faces when they read my post but I think it went okay. In regards to the other discussions I think we all had pretty similar opinions on what disciplinary action to take (if any) and what the breakdown of a performance evaluation categories would include. One of my team members specifically tailored his answers to the nursing role and I thought that was very helpful. He included a lot of detail and I imagine that’s how each evaluation should be for each role. The generic categories can be boring and not specific, therefore hard to use. But his made everything clear.

This information was important for me to recognize and learn so that I can not only be a better employee but hopefully a better leader. We all want to score well when it comes to being evaluated, it is how we know where we stand. If evaluations are not done, nothing and no one will improve. It is as simple as that. Even though it takes time to meet with each person and go through evaluations, they have to be done. It is how your strengthen your best employees and weed out the ones poisoning the pond. If you want your employees to perform up to the standard or beyond those standards, you have to point out how they can get that standing ovation at the end of the year. They need to see the path and the end goal.

Reflecting.

This week (week 4) was an interesting one because I feel like not a lot of new material was introduced. It seemed to be a follow-up of last week. Nonetheless, I have some good experiences with the activities we did and the assignments we had to complete. The coolest thing this week was interviewing someone who hires other people. For the assignment, I was able to interview my grandmother, Blanch Linton. She is always someone that I have looked up to. And, it was really cool to see her through a more professional lens and be able to hear about her experiences. I was really impressed with the things she has accomplished and the influence she has had on students and educators, not to mention her own employees, for her entire career. She taught me a lot about the importance of breaking down walls to really get to know someone. She pointed out that most people’s real personalities are covered up by a facade and nerves and if you are ever going to find the right person for the job you have to take the time to get to know them. I also realized during the interview how hard and exhausting interviewing can be. She shared with me some of the negative experiences she’s had with potential employees and former employers. She emphasized the importance of honesty and transparency in all things. Beyond what she taught me about how to hire someone, she taught me things to do to prepare for interviews to do my best. From her, I discovered how important it is to be confident, never cocky. Take time to prepare for the interview by creating a complete resume, doing research on the company/unit beforehand and coming prepared with questions. It was a very positive experience and I walked away having learned a lot.

The team activity this week was also really great. After talking with everyone over Google Hangouts and getting to know everyone a lot more, I am really excited about my group. I think we have the best one! What made the activity such a great experience was that everyone was motivated to do their best and willing to participate. The hardest part about teams and groups is when you have someone who doesn’t respond or pull their own weight. I did not feel like my group had anyone like that. What is really refreshing about group work in nursing school is that we all are driven to do well. Everyone does their work and does it well. This activity was no different. The last two activities were I think the most thought and conversation provoking. When it came to picking who would be on the boat, there were easily some people that we all said, “absolutely, yes, they should be on the boat”. But there were others like the doctor and the Jewish man that we had to really think about. The last activity also surprised us because we did not get the order correct as individuals or as a group. But it was interesting to find that we scored a lot better when we worked as a team. As individuals we did not do well at all. But as a group we were pretty close. That simply goes to show how valuable group work is and sharing/accepting opinions of others. We did have some differing opinions but there was never contention. Everyone respectfully offered their opinions and we discussed differences of opinion. We were all able to come to conclusions and everyone seemed pleased with the outcome. 

As mentioned in my post about the interview, I am not in a leadership position so hiring someone is not something I will be doing anytime soon. But, what I can do is volunteer and talk with my manager about maybe participating when he hires new people. I can apply some of the things I learned from my grandma into that situation. What I think is most pertinent for me to utilize now is becoming the best candidate for the job. I need to make sure my resume is updated and solid. I also can work on my confidence now when meeting new people and trying for new opportunities. I think I can also help new employees feel comfortable in their transition because it is never easy. Another important thing for me to do, is not complain about group work any more, at least with my group this semester. My group really surprised me with their willingness to work and complete the activities. It gives me hope that actives and assignments in the future will be just as successful.

her ability to hire & inspire

To learn more about how to hire and interview a potential candidate I interviewed Blanch Linton. She is the founder and former CEO of the School Improvement Network. The interview was conducted on September 11, 2019 at 11 am.

1. What is your process for selecting individuals to interview?

“The results of studying resumes, looking for qualified candidates, looking for experience, education. I usually select a candidate from their resume. My assistant would go through resumes and narrow them down, then I would go through them and decide from there who to call in for interviews.”

2. What are important things you look for on a resume?

“Good information about work experience, life experience, the quality of the resume, and if the resume reflects their personality at all.”

3. How carefully do you review a resume before interviewing a candidate?

“Very carefully! An interview is more effective if I have a background on a candidate, you want to know something about them before you interview them. If there are some missing pieces, depending on what’s there, the resume may get thrown out. Resumes are really important.”

4. What are you looking for when you reach out to the interviewee’s references?

“HONESTY. Sometimes you don’t always get that. We hired people who had great references but turned out to be horrible employees. It’s super important to be honest, you have to be careful of legalities but be honest. I would not say a person is a great employee if they haven’t been. I want them to talk about their character, what their experience is with them, things they’ve done/accomplished etc…You have to filter through what a reference says, it can’t be the only determining factor on whether or not someone is hired.”

5. Do you ask potential coworkers, HR, or other leadership to be in the interview with you?

“Sometimes, if it was appropriate or I felt it was necessary. Sometimes it was more efficient to have other people involved in the interview. It’s nice to get another opinion or impression. We all see things differently. Having someone from HR in the interview would have a different perception and may be looking for different qualities than what I was looking for so it could be helpful.”

6. Do you usually have a pretty good idea about whether or not you would like to hire an individual as soon as the interview is over?

“Yes. I would have an idea just based on known qualifications and personality. The interview helps determine if they would be a good fit. I always wanted to know what the person was really like. I wanted them to feel really relaxed and comfortable to start talking about themselves. I wanted to see the person beneath the facade they put on, beyond the nerves. I would ask them about themselves, some trivial questions and get them talking. If they can’t talk about themselves or break down the barriers then they just don’t have the confidence to do what we need them to do. Some people would really open up a lot. It was important for me to know that I was really interested in them as a person. You just learn so much about them so by the end of the interview I would know enough to determine if they were going to be hired or not.”

7. Do you appreciate it when individuals follow up with you after an interview?

“Yes, if they’re sincere. Lots of people will write a thank you and sometimes it felt like they were simply going through the motions. They didn’t always feel very sincere. One person in their thank you note, offered suggestions for how we should run the company, I didn’t think it was his place and I found it offensive. Just a sincere note of appreciation was kind but not always necessary.”

8. How long do your interviews last?

“It would vary from one person to another. If I could tell in the first 5 minutes that the person wasn’t for us I would keep the interview as short as possible. But if I knew the person was a really good candidate I would find out everything about the person I could so the interview would be longer. You can tell a lot about people in the first few minutes, that’s why I like to get people talking about themselves.”

9. Are there any major red flags you keep an eye out for during an interview?

“Yes, specifically how well a person can present themselves, their level of confidence that crosses into cockiness or the complete lack of confidence. Sometimes people will say things that will turn me off or are red flags so at that point I would keep the interview short.”

10. How important is it to you that the interviewee ask you questions? What kind of questions do you hope they ask?

“It is very important. I want them to show interest in the company. I want them to ask questions that show they are trying to learn what our company is about. Not a lot of interviewees ask questions. But I really like it when they do. I also want them to ask about the position and show they are interested in that. Asking about how the business functions and the history of it. For them to demonstrate interest is a real plus. Sometimes people would do research on their own and that was impressive because they were coming with their own knowledge and that would stimulate questions and conversation.”

11. What qualities and skills do you look for in every interviewee?

“It depends on the job. Every position demands different skill. I always ask myself if their personality will match mine and that I can work with them or that my current employees can work with them. I look for hard working, kind, assertive, and humble people. We would often give people a scenario related to their position and we would want them to demonstrate the ability to solve a problem. At that point, you could really get a lot of insight into what people really think. I would also really try to find out how detail-oriented a person was. I would ask them that directly and look for that in their responses to the questions they were being asked. I also look for a candidate that is trainable and willing to learn. They may have the personality but not the qualifications so I would want to know if they would be able to be trained.”

12. What impresses you most about a potential employee?

“The first impression is important. The first thing you see in a person is how they dress and how they present themselves. Their friendliness was impressive, or the lack there off and how they would appear or react to our customers. If they had the ability to impress our clients. If they are a happy person. I would look for positivity in behavior and response.”

 

This interview was very insightful. Graduating from nursing school and going through many interviews my focus was always on how to present myself as the best nurse for the job. Everything was seen through a healthcare lens. Which is the way it should be for me in my career. But, it was also interesting to recognize that there are some principles that are effective for conducting an interview and being interviewed across all career fields. For example, appearance and confidence are vital in first impressions. I learned that it is also important to come prepared with questions for the interviewer. It is also important to talk and show who you are so that they can learn about your personality and that will help them determine if you are good for the job. Resumes, too, are huge in the application of and interviewing jobs. They are the key to opening the door. I realized that the first few minutes of an interview are vital to setting the tone for the rest of the time. Sometimes I am pretty shy when I first meet someone new so this is something that I can work on. Confidence and opening up from the start so a future prospective employee can see exactly who I am from the start. Throughout the interview, as she was describing some negative examples, I was surprised that some people would do the things they do, such as writing a letter telling the CEO how you think they should run their company or lying to a prospective manager about a former employee. 

With Hiring Power

First and foremost, this week I learned that hiring is a great responsibility. Not only that, hiring can be really tricky. There are so many factors that go into hiring not only the right person for the job but the right person for the unit or department. Because of the intricacies of finding a person to hire, it is really important that time is taken to do the job. A manager should never just hire someone because they are the only one that applied. It is worth it to take the time and vet the individual. In order to make a solid hire that will do the job, contribute and improve the department there are some things that a manager should always do. These things are to be prepared, use a team approach (invite other coworkers on the unit to participate in the interview), be consistent, and ensure legal guidelines are followed. Furthermore a manager should always anticipate turnover. And most importantly they should do their due diligence ahead of time and hire the best person for the job.

The team activity went well this week. Everyone participated and so we were able to complete the assignments in a timely manner. It was interesting everyone’s different opinions about which person they would hire when given the choice between two people. Despite everyone’s differing opinions we were able to come to the same consensus. When it came to coming up with interview questions, it was interesting that there were a few questions that everyone suggested, just in a slightly different way. For example, what qualities are looked for in a candidate, what a resume should look like, what common red flags are etc… Some of the questions were very different but they centered around picking a candidate that not only fit the job but was the strongest that could get along well with staff and the unit or department. This week through the activities I feel like the things others said, didn’t really sway my opinion. With that being said, it was nice to hear about different perspectives.

Right now, I am not in a leadership position but what I can do now is volunteer to participate in interviews. I think it is vitally important that a manager gets opinions from the people that this new hire will be working with on a daily basis. Someday, if I do ever come into a leadership position I think it will be most important to remember that I should hire the best person for the job and take the time to find that person. I also think with this information it is important that I give my manager a break as he hire new people and trust that he is doing his job to hire the best. 

This material was helpful for me to understand the hiring process but I think in the future when I am in a leadership position it will be more important to go over this material at that time.

Leadership Learned.

This week the focus of our study was that of leadership. The most interesting thing that I learned through the articles I read, film we watched and discussions that I had is that leaders come in all different shapes and sizes. But I also learned what makes a good leader and what does not.

I think naturally when someone thinks of a leader the think of someone who lead a charge for good. But the reality in fact is that leaders do have to necessarily be motivated by changing the world for the better. They may think they are, but in actually the causes they are at the helm of may cause more damage and destruction than good. With that being said, the leaders that are focused on the well-being of others and trying to make their world a better place are the ones who’s names are remembered and revered longer, I believe their influence is greater.

Leaders possess many traits. It doesn’t just take one thing to make a leader great, it takes multiple traits and characteristics that make someone worth following. Some of their qualities include knowledge, loyalty, instinct, purpose, independence, communication, honesty, integrity, delegation, empowerment, service-oriented, compassion and respect. A great leader is also focused on their people and relationships, and they consistent and constant in all things; in other words, reliable. On the opposing hand, a leader that refuses to listen to others, are unforgiving, dismissive, lack the ability to defend or protect, selfish or believe they can do it on their own, are egotistical and opaque, and who are void of empathy and compassion will not be successful. They will be abandoned and people will fail to strike up their cause and follow their lead.

During the team activity this week it was interesting to hear who others thought were leaders, whether good or bad. We were all given the same list of names to choose from and determine who were in fact leaders. There was a handful of people that we all quickly agreed upon, for example, Moses, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler, Jim Jones and the Dalai Lama. But there were others that some suggested and other turned down, like, Mohammad, Buddha, Rosa Parks, Florence Nightengale and Florence Joyner. There were others that fell in the middle like Ronald Reagan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy and Solomon. For the most part my original opinion of the people listed above remained the same. Some people, like the former presidents of the USA I felt strongly enough that they were leaders so I kind of fought for their names to be on the list because they had done things like lead the US out of the depression, saved the Union, wrote the constitution and helped put a man on the moon. Others, I had to be persuaded; like Florence Nightengale I could agree that she was in fact a leader after some discussion because she founded modern nursing and lead a group of women to a foreign country during war to care for the wounded. Overall, it was important that we talked about all of the people on the list, we were able to compromise and come up with a list, that I believe has some really  influential leaders.

With all of the things I have learned about leadership this week, they will only mean something if I apply them into my nursing practice. I plan to focus my care and interactions with others through a lease of compassion and empathy. I will stay loyal to those I work with and work for. I hope that I can open the door to those around me and listen to their opinions. I hope to do my work in such a way that I earn respect. I want to continue to gain knowledge and develop my instincts so that I can be trusted. I plan to communicate with others openly and honestly about the things I am doing and the things I have done. I can start to practice delegating and empowers others to do their best. Overall I want to be consistent. I want others to know they can rely on me to do my best but also know that I am there for them and will always encourage them to be there best. I know I can’t do all of these things now but I can start implementing them in my day to day work so that they will become habits and become strengths so that if the call to leadership arises I will be prepared.

I think it is so important that at every stage of life the traits, values and characteristics of being a good leader should be learned and implemented. Even if one is not a leader now, they will be some day. And if not, they may teach others through word or example of how to be a leader that is influential and for good. I believe this material was also helpful because it helped me recognize what a good leader is. This will ultimately help me to know what kind of leader I want to follow. Furthermore, it helped me to know what kind of leader I want to emulate. 

Characteristics of Leaders in Nursing

1.       Leadership requires personal mastery – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they show competence and mastery in the tasks they perform. Nurses are deemed competent by means of a license to practice nursing (NLN 2010).

2.       Leadership is about values – Nursing leaders with higher values will direct their staff and teams to have higher powers. The values a nursing leader has will be the values that a unit has. A leader must decide and know what their values are so that they can lead their team.

3.       Leadership is about service – Nursing is in and of itself is all about service. Everything nurses do, serve others, whether their patients or their coworkers. Nursing leaders should always remember that they not only should serve their staff but they should also serve their purpose

4.       Leadership is about people and relationships – Nursing leaders are focused on their needs of their team, people and patients. They are willing to fight for what is best for them. They are loyal to not only their leaders but are first and foremost loyal to those is their care.

5.       Leadership is contextual – Leadership is universal but in certain contexts different traits of leadership will come forward. A nursing leader is faced with a variety of different situations and people and thus must respond appropriately depending on who or whom they are interacting with.

6.       Leadership is about the management of meaning – Nursing leaders are focused on how to improve the experience of their staff and their patients. They constantly work towards creating a meaningful, safe and positive experience for their staff during their day to day work and for their patients during their stay.

7.       Leadership is about balance – Nursing is very hard and can be very exhausting. Burn out is very real in the nursing world. Leaders in nursing know how to balance work life and home life in order to avoid burn out and maintain endurance in their careers.

8.       Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – The world of nursing is ever changing. There is new research every day that comes out about best and safe practice. Leaders in nursing are motivated to learn and improve their skills on a daily basis and are always willing to implement better protocols and processes into their work.

9.       Leadership is about effective decision making – Critical thinking is a huge part of nursing. Nursing make good and better decisions all day, everyday. Each intervention that nurses preform involve critical thinking to make the best decision for their patients. Nurse leaders must make effective decisions to create a safe, effective environment. Great leaders make great decisions. A leaders decisions effect everything a unit does.

10.   Leadership is a political process – Political competence is required to navigate the challenges of being a leader. Becoming a nursing leader may involve politics be a good leader in nursing is above politics. They treat everyone in their responsibility as equal. With that being said, nursing  leaders involved in politics are able to influence healthcare to deliver the best care to patients.

11.   Leadership is about modeling – Because of the ever changing nature of the nursing field, leaders are willing to be the example or model in behavior, deed and practice. They are willing to work the hardest to be the exemplar for their staff and teams, despite what other may think of them.

12.   Leadership is about integrity – Leaders in nursing are always honest. They are not expected to be perfect, thus if they make a mistake they will report it through the proper channels and are thus willing to learn from those mistakes. Nursing leaders are also willing to stay true to their moral principles and stand up for what is right.

the CONSCIENTIOUS leader

This week for class we had to take the DISC test. Its a series of adjectives and you choose which one is most like you. After going through all of the adjectives and adding up the results I found the I am a conscientious individual. 

Conscientious people are detail-oriented, precise organizers. The chose to avoid conflict and work at accommodating others. They need conscientious people around them when working on projects and to accomplish tasks. In order for a conscientious person to be a good leader they must understand their team members have different personalities and strengths. And, if they can do that they will be a strong leader with a successful team.

After taking the test and learning about what a conscientious person is I realized that most of these characteristics I already knew I possessed. So, I guess you can say the test was pretty accurate. I already knew that I am detail-oriented and organized. I knew that I avoid conflict like the plague. But, despite what I already knew there were a couple of things that I did learn. The first is that I must surround myself with other conscientious people. They will be able to point out things that I missed or didn’t see myself. They also may foresee things that I cannot. Another thing that I learned about myself is that if I am willing to adapt and compromise or open up about my strengths and weaknesses, others will do the same. I struggle with that.

The results of this test will effect my leadership style and will help me become a strong leader. If I can surround myself with other conscientious people there will be nothing we can’t do. Furthermore, if I can learn to open up to others, they will do the same with me. This will create an environment where everyone is vulnerable thus making us all stronger. This information will also reminded me that as a leader I will accommodate others but I must remember that I have strengths that others do not.

This knowledge teaches me that I must play to my strengths but also be open and listen to others. It reminds me that I cannot do anything on my own, that I in fact need others to help me. It also teaches me that the weaknesses and strengths of others are valuable to everyone and will contribute to everyone’s overall success.

Who I Am.

Welcome to my blog!

I wanted to introduce you to myself, first and foremost. 

My name is Madisen MacKay, but I go by Maddee. I am 26 years old. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah to the best parents a girl could ask for. I am the oldest of five kids. I have one sister and 3 brothers of whom we lovingly refer to ourselves as the MacKay Monkeys. 

I claim Draper as home, although I did not grow up here for half of my life. My dad’s job took us overseas to Chiang Mai, Thailand for six years and Beijing, China for three years. I absolutely loved living overseas. I also lived in New York City for 18 months as a missionary for my church. My calling was to speak Mandarin, Chinese so most of my mission I lived in Chinatown, Manhattan. I would not trade any of these experiences for anything in this world because I truly believe I am the person I am today because of them.

I have always loved playing and watching sports. I grew up playing soccer, basketball and volleyball. But when I discovered rugby in high school there was no going back. I played rugby all through high school and some in college. I love watching all sports, especially football. Despite my love for sports, I love my creative side as well. I love decorating and planning weddings. I have planned weddings for a few friends and family members and I will jump on any opportunity to decorate anything. I am the number one fan of chocolate, all kinds of chocolate. And I pretty much always have a good beverage in my hand. I love to try new foods and consider myself a total foodie.

I have always been fascinated with the medical field. For a long time I thought I might like to go to medical school and become an OBGYN or surgeon. But, as I grew up I realized I did not want to be in school for that long. Someone suggested I look into nursing and that choice has lead me to where I am today. I have always known that I want to do good in this world. I wanted a career that would allow me to give back to the world by helping and serving people. I always wanted a career that meant something and that would allow me to make a difference. I feel like nursing is the perfection combination of what I want for my life and career but also something that interests me. Because of this I feel like I am really coming into my own because I am doing something that I love. Nursing is no joke. It is hard. But for some reason I love it. And, most importantly, I know it is for me.

I am currently working at IMC on the Surgical/Trauma unit. I graduated this past December so I have only been a nurse for about 9 months. I am very happy where I am right now. I work with a great group of people. My patients present me with many challenges and everyone is so different. Because of this, I am learning a lot! I don’t see myself going anywhere else right now. With that being said, I have thought that I might one day like to work in the Emergency Department or in Labor and Delivery. 

I am not very far into my nursing career but I already consider it a huge part of who I am. I am excited to see where my past experiences and current life will take. I feel like I am just beginning but I know I have big things ahead of me.

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