Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
To some nurses, caring for others comes natural to them. They have that motherly instinct of looking out for the others, willing to give advice when needed, to be full of compassion, being the leaning post to others. This is the case for Sue Douglas, MHA, RN, Corporate Compliance Officer for Carter Healthcare. Sue has the nickname of Mama Sue due to being a mother figure to those around her. “I have always been drawn to the complexities of healthcare and how we could offer better services, increase efficiency and improve the healthcare setting. I specifically enjoy my position as a Compliant Officer, working on ways to increase quality. It has become a passion for me in the healthcare setting,” Sue stated.
Sue has been a nurse for a total of eight years, and has been at Carter Healthcare for six years. Her first job as a nurse was working at Southwest Medical Center on the Oncology floor. “Oncology nursing is hard work but also rewarding. I was able to serve long-term patients and develop relationships with patients and families.” (story continues below)
Growing up in Moore, OK, as a little girl, Sue felt like she was being drawn to be a nurse, although her first thought was to be a Historian. “I always wanted to grow up and work in a museum or be a scholar of research. Then, I became fascinated with nursing,” Sue said. Attending UCO in Edmond, OK for her nursing, she told me that UCO has a great nursing program. “They had many resources while I was in nursing school. It was also nice to have the older students, classmates, and the professors willing to keep the encouraging words coming my way.”
Being sparked with imagination and setting goals, Sue shares the qualities of an exceptional nurse with the qualities of patience, compassion, critical thinking skills, being a self-starter and team work all rolled into one.
As a Corporate Compliance Officer for a home health and hospice agency, Sue’s job keeps her busy. “I start with emails and meetings, actually my whole day is focused on helping people solve problems. I am involved with working on auditing and monitoring work processes. I work with our education team as their department head. I also work on Quality Improvement projects,” Sue commented. “Currently, I do not see patients. I work in an administration position at this time, but, I see patients anytime they need me. I am willing and ready to serve our agency.”
“Although I enjoy taking care of patients, I knew early in nursing school that I had a love for administration and organization structure related to healthcare. I enjoy working in healthcare at a level where there is work needed to improve systems, processing how we can make it work. One of my favorite topics is sustainability,” Sue commented.
“My biggest reward in nursing is working towards a larger goal. The healthcare system is complex and ever-changing. I come to work each day trying to work towards a goal that can allow us to improve quality outcomes for the patient and also, the employee,” Sue said.
“With rewards, there are also challenges. The biggest challenge in my job is trying to increase efficiency in healthcare by not only adding more work. It is hard to regulate, track and improve quality measures without creating double the work for the employee to complete,” Sue added.
What advice would you give to someone that was trying to go into the medical field? Sue replied, “Being a nurse can be the most rewarding job for some people. I think one has to have a real desire to care for others. If I was to give advice to someone, I would tell them to explore their options. Don’t limit yourself and truly find passion as a nurse.”
“I believe that the pandemic has changed my life in the same way it has changed everyone else’s; having to limit interactions with friends and family, and not being able to go out in public the same way we did before. It has changed my job drastically. We have to make quick decisions in order to maintain safety and quality for patients with the pandemic. As a whole, we still meet daily to discuss COVID and what impact it has organization and what we need to do to ensure our employees and patients are being taken care of with the utmost care.”
When Sue was asked to describe her life in three words, she answered, “God, Family, Active.”