The Importance of Caring: My Journey into Nursing – Korie Whitmore

By Ashley Strehle Hartman, freelance writer
for Columbus Community Hospital  – Columbus, Nebraska
Published on the Columbus Community Hospital website, November 2018

It all started with a summer job.

While she was growing up in Shelby, Nebraska, Korie Whitmore, RN, had planned to become an elementary school teacher. Then a summer job in high school changed Whitmore’s career goals and her life.

“I had the opportunity to work in a primary care medical clinic in the summers throughout high school, which sparked my interest in pursuing a career in health care,” Whitmore said.

Now Whitmore is the Director of Clinics and Physician Relations Representative for Columbus Community Hospital (CCH).

But Whitmore’s career in health care all started at that rural primary care clinic near her home.

Whitmore was hired to be the clinic’s receptionist and medical transcriptionist.

She spent her summers working alongside the office’s clinical teams and physicians, and she quickly became more involved in other aspects of the clinic.

“I would often ask to watch procedures, look at specimens in the lab, or simply hold the hand of patient receiving treatment,” Whitmore said. “It was those early experiences that fostered my love for nursing and built a strong foundation for my future health care career.”

In the years since, Whitmore has worked a variety of jobs in health care. As a staff
and charge nurse, she has worked in emergency care, obstetrics, pediatrics, pre/post-surgical care, cardiac rehab, as well as cared for patients with acute illnesses.

“I loved every aspect of direct patient care and found great joy in providing support to patients and families coping with illnesses,” Whitmore said.

Over the years, Whitmore’s primary job responsibilities have shifted from direct patient care to more management type roles. In these positions, Whitmore is not directly involved in caring for patients, but she is still able to affect the quality of patient care.

Whitmore started working at CCH in July 2017 as the Quality Improvement Advisor and in October of that year she transitioned to the Physician Relations Representative position. In April 2018, she was promoted to her role as CCH’s Director of Clinics.

As CCH’s Director of Clinics, Whitmore’s primary responsible is to provide management  and oversight to all of CCH’s assigned clinics. In this position, she works with administrative and clinical operations staff at all of CCH’s clinics to ensure they have the resources they need to deliver high quality, cost-effective services in a safe and efficient work environment.

In her second position as CCH’s Physician Relations Representative, Whitmore develops and maintains relationships with physician referral organizations so she can bring more physicians to CCH. She also works with CCH’s physicians and staff to ensure they have the resources they need to do their jobs well.

Though Whitmore’s current positions take her away from direct patient care, she still finds the jobs rewarding as they allow her to care for patients in a different way.

“Even though I am not directly involved in caring for the patient in my roles now, I still have the ability to impact the patient by positively influencing my providers and teams to provide expert, compassionate care,” she said.

Whitmore isn’t alone in her dedication to providing quality care. She said the entire CCH organization is committed to improvement in a way she hasn’t seen before.

“I am just very proud to be part of the CCH family,” she said. “I think CCH really follows their mission and vision unlike any other place I’ve ever worked.”

Whitmore values her work at CCH and the career she’s found in health care – and she thinks others would feel the same way.

“I would strongly encourage anyone to consider a career in health care,” she said. “If you have a passion for helping others and you want to make a difference, then health care is for you. The opportunities are endless.”

To learn more about Whitmore, or the services offered at Columbus Community Hospital, go online to www.columbushosp.org.

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