Spotlight on Lindsey Townsend, vascular access nurse at Candler Hospital
Lindsey Townsend, BSN, RN-BC
Vascular Access Nurse
Education: Bachelors from Grand Valley State University
Medical-Surgical Nursing Certified
SJ/C: Why did you want to become a nurse?
Lindsey: Back when I was deciding what I wanted to do, I loved all the sciences – anatomy, physiology – and I also loved helping people, and I love learning. Nursing is a way I can combine all of those things. Your practice is always growing. By combining those sciences, I can help people live a healthier life and get better while they are here.
SJ/C: What do you love about being a nurse here at St. Joseph’s/Candler?
Lindsey: I love several things about being a nurse here at St. Joseph’s/Candler. First, I love that it is a faith-based hospital, and I can express my faith and that’s absolutely acceptable and even encouraged. I think that is a huge way that we can help make our patients stay better. Also, I love that it is a Magnet facility. That is what drew me in the first place coming here.
SJ/C: When you were a nurse on the Med Surg floor, what were some of your responsibilities?
Lindsey: I was a floor nurse on 6South. Our responsibilities included admitting and discharging patients. We would give them all of the education they needed. 6South recently became our stroke center for the hospital. We would have any patient who came in with a stroke, so we did tons of education about how they can prevent them in the future and how to best cope with that new diagnosis in life.
SJ/C: How did you transition to join the Vascular Access Team?
Lindsey: I was looking for a new way to grow in the facility, and luckily everyone here really encourages that. When you want to make a change, they are really great at helping you find the best fit for you. When I heard the Vascular Access Team was looking for a new team member, I shadowed with them and really saw what they do deep down in a day. You only see them for a moment up on the floor doing what they do by putting in different PICC lines or different types of IVs that patients need. I shadowed with them and it seemed really interesting. I have been down here for about a month. It is just a learning experience every day. It’s been great.
SJ/C: So is it fair to say St. Joseph’s/Candler gives you an opportunity to grow as a nurse?
Lindsey: Yes, they absolutely do. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been on multiple communittees and different groups where we are trying to make the hospital a better place. They are always interdisciplinary, and I think that’s a really great way to meet the different members of our health system, not just the ones you work with every day. By meeting with those different team members, you can learn about areas you might not have known about. That’s a great way, when you are looking for change, to get your foot in the door.
SJ/C: What does it mean to you to be a Magnet nurse?
Lindsey: It is a really great thing. Having come from a hospital in Michigan that was attempting to get their Magnet status to now being at one that has had it for years and years, it’s just ingrained in our culture that we work interdisciplinary with all the other specialties. We work with pharmacy; we work with our physicians. Having those close relationships is so good for our patients because they get the very best care they can. We are always striving to do the best evidence based practice, which means our patients are getting the most up-to-date, the most current care they can get. I love that.
SJ/C: What advice would you offer to new nurses or those considering a career in nursing?
Lindsey: I would say that if you love working with patients and it’s something you are interested in, absolutely give it a shot. It can be a huge struggle but it has so many rewards. By finding your niche and what’s the best fit for you, you can really grow and love it.
Achievements: Board certified in Medical-Surgery Nursing; former member of the 6South Unit Council
Hobbies: Traveling, cooking and reading