Carrie Phillips: ‘Send me to Iowa City’

Carrie Phillips, RN
Carrie Phillips, RN, says UI Hospitals & Clinics also offers therapies in GI Care that no one else in the state provides.

When Carrie Phillips worked for another hospital years ago, she kept hearing the same thing.

“When we would run into something difficult, something advanced, the doctors would say, ‘Oh, send them to Iowa City to UI Hospitals & Clinics. Send them to Iowa City,” says Phillips, RN, interim assistant nurse manager in the Digestive Health Center. “After hearing that for several years, I thought, well, send me to Iowa City. Because if that’s where the interesting cases are happening, that’s where I want to go.”

When I was in nursing school, I got addicted to gastrointestinal care. We like to joke that we go through the holes that God made and do miracles.

— Carrie Phillips, RN

In 2002, Phillips came to University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics and pursued her love for digestive health.

“When I was in nursing school, I got addicted to gastrointestinal care,” she says. “We like to joke that we go through the holes that God made and do miracles.”

Every day is a new day

Phillips says she is constantly learning something new.

“In GI care, our work is always evolving. We’re always being taught new procedures, new techniques, and using new instrument tools and different products to do our jobs,” she says.

She also notes that UI Hospitals & Clinics also offers therapies in GI Care that no one else in the state provides.

In GI care, our work is always evolving. We’re always being taught new procedures, new techniques, and using new instrument tools and different products to do our jobs.

— Carrie Phillips, RN

“We have a subspecialty called lower motility and I cross-trained in biofeedback,” she says. “We have patients flying in from out of state for this therapy.”

In addition to the techniques, Phillips says it’s the personal touch that helps patients.

“When I sit with a patient, encouraging them, patting their hand, and telling them to relax, it makes a difference to them,” she says.

Unlike any other RN job

As a nurse, Phillips is grateful for her unique schedule in digestive health.

“We work mainly day shift as nurses, we take call about one weekend every third month, and we cover call just one major holiday every other year,” she says.

She also appreciates the versatility of her unit and the patients she grows to love.

“We’re rotated to different areas within our unit,” she says. “No one’s day is ever the same. We treat a nice combination of inpatients and outpatients. I love getting to know our regular patients and their families.”