People make commuting to UI Health Care worth every mile for these nurses
Four days a week, Rick Poore, RN, travels from Waterloo to Iowa City to his job as a perioperative nurse at UI Hospitals & Clinics. It’s more than 80 miles each way, but Poore doesn’t mind.
“People are sometimes surprised when they hear how far I drive to work each day,” says Poore. “But it’s not a big deal. The drive in gets me ready for the workday and the drive back lets me unwind so that when I step through the door at home, I am able to focus on my family.”
Poore, married and with two children ages 12 and 15, works in the operating room as part of the surgical team caring for ear, nose, and throat (ENT) patients. He says the supportive environment is what drew him to the hospital.
“I previously worked in my hometown of Waterloo,” he says. “But when I started looking for a place that had a supportive, yet challenging environment, UI Hospitals & Clinics really exemplified that feeling.”
Now, almost four years after he made the switch, Poore says it’s been one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
“We self-schedule, so we can rotate which day we want off,” he explains. “If I have a doctor’s appointment, I can schedule my days around that. It’s that kind of structured team support that really goes a long way in finding a job you love.”
New nurse says everyone is welcoming
Hannah Delveau, RN, inpatient staff nurse in the Medical Surgical Oncology Unit, feels the same way.
“When I was going to school, I thought to myself that it was ridiculous to drive an hour to work,” she laughs. “In fact, UI Hospitals & Clinics wasn’t even on my radar to apply for a job, but I went there for my preceptorship before I got my degree. I think it was only my first or second day on the job and I realized I didn’t want to work anywhere else.”
There were many reasons UI Health Care appealed to Delveau.
“I feel like there are so many opportunities to learn,” she says. “I also remember my first official day on the job. I was walking into the hospital for orientation and a doctor passed me and said, ‘Good morning!’ It was a great start because everyone has been so welcoming.”
Delveau works three 12-hours shifts per week but makes the 55-minute drive from Davenport to Iowa City more often as she picks up overtime opportunities.
In addition to welcoming, Delveau says the UI Health Care environment is one that encourages growth.
“Managers are so flexible and understanding,” she notes. “They work around classes, appointments, and other things if you communicate requests ahead of time. And they really mentor you as you go about your day, which has been wonderful.”
Like Poore, she looks at her commute as time to get ready for work or transition home.
“I can finish my coffee before I get there and think about things I need to do,” Delveau says. “I listen to the radio or call to talk with people while driving and then next thing I know, I’m home.”
It's the people
For nurses who commute, Poore says the intangible benefits are worth so much more. The hospital’s reputation attracts talent, and their co-workers make them feel welcome.
“This hospital really feels like a giant family,” he says. “You’ll find many friends here while you move along and advance your career.”
Delveau says the people make the commute worth every minute.
“I love caring for my patients here and I love my friends and colleagues,” she says. “Every time I walk through the door, I feel like this is the place for me.”