Spotlight on Carey McCartney, ICU resource coordinator at Candler Hospital
Carey McCartney, RN, CCRN
Nursing at St. Joseph’s/Candler for 12 years
SJ/C: Why did you decide to become a nurse?
Carey: First off, you have to want to help people. It’s also enjoyable interacting with people and seeing the progression of patients going from being sick to getting better. That’s why I wanted to become a nurse.
SJ/C: Why did you choose St. Joseph’s/Candler to be a nurse?
Carey: For me, growing up in the South and having a strong religious upbringing, our motto of “Rooted in God’s love,” really influenced me. I strongly believe spirituality helps people to heal, not just our physical presence, but our spiritual and emotional presence. That’s one of the big reasons why I chose St. Joseph’s/Candler.
SJ/C: What are some of the responsibilities of the resource coordinator, especially on ICU?
Carey: I think it’s different from night and day (shifts). I’ve pretty much worked nothing but night shifts the last 15, 16 years. On night shift, part of my job is to provide leadership. We get a lot of new grads that come onto night shift. I think it is an opportunity and a privilege to be able to have young nurses and provide leadership and mentoring new nurses. Also, being a resource for all the nurses. Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to work in a lot of different places within the hospital. I feel like I have the knowledge of where to find the resources our nurses need. That’s a big part of the resource coordinator’s job.
SJ/C: You worked in different areas of the hospital as a float nurse. (A nurse who works different units of the hospital to help fill in as needed.) What were some things you enjoyed about being a float nurse?
Carey: One of the things I enjoyed a lot, when you went to a floor, you were there to help them, and so everyone is so appreciative of you being there. That’s nice. Just seeing all the different floors and specialties – from med-surg to oncology to even the post-surgical extended recovery unit – every one of those has their unique aspects. Being able to see that has helped me develop as a nurse and helped me prioritize my nursing care depending on where I am going.
SJ/C: I heard you also are a Captain in the Army. How does that experience help you as a nurse?
Carey: I started out with the Marine Corp, in the infantry. I did that and got out and then went to nursing school. I continued my service with some Marine Corp Reserve time, and then I joined the Army and went into the Nursing Corp in the Army. As a nurse, it’s helped me with discipline and compassion. Being in the military, you also see a wide variety of cultures and people from all avenues of life. I think I can relate to a lot of different people because I met a lot of people from a lot of different areas.
SJ/C: I also hear you have a twin brother that works for the Health System as well. What’s that like?
Carey: Here’s been here for about two years, and when people see him, they call him me. I’m OK with it because no one calls me Shawn. It’s always him getting called Carey. It’s been fun. We haven’t played any jokes on people – yet. He’s a nurse during day shift in the float pool. What’s funny is that I’m a twin; the other resource coordinator in ICU is a twin; and one of the ICU nurses is a twin. There’s a bunch of twins around.
SJ/C: What does it mean to you to be a Magnet nurse?
Carey: I have worked at other facilities that are not Magnet, and then to come to a Magnet facility, you can see the way they want to take care of nurses. St. Joseph’s/Candler takes care of the nurses and strives for the nurses to continue their education and to get better. There’s opportunity for the nurses to continue to excel with scholarships, certifications and other resources available.
SJ/C: What advice would you have for those considering a career in nursing or new nurse graduates?
Carey: For people who want to become nurses and even new nurses, it’s a job that you have to take to heart and be compassionate. What I tell new nurses now is think about if that were your family member and how you would want them to be treated. Be compassionate, understanding, caring – those are some of the core values that you have to possess to become a nurse.
Family: Mother, father, wife and brother
Hobbies/Interests: Fishing, being outdoors, cooking and spending time with family