Erica Sanchez is relatively new to the Lompoc Valley Medical Center (LVMC) staff, but as a Quality Improvement RN, she’s known by many of the staff. For the past few weeks, Erica has been staffing both flu clinics and a “roving cart” to provide flu shots to all LVMC staff.
She had once considered becoming a teacher, but after working in a pre-school realized it wasn’t the path for her. After opting for nursing, she earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing at Northern Arizona University. Before coming to LVMC, she worked at Arrowhead Hospital in Arizona.
She said she likes that nurses can be advocates for their patients, because of the one-on-one interactions and the amount of time spent with each person.
“I like the way nurses use multiple forms of healing, not just medicine,” she said. “I like the holistic care, looking at the whole person. As nurses, we do that.”
She started noticing the work of Quality Improvement nurses at her former workplace, which underwent a mandated survey inspection.
“So much goes into it,” Erica said. “I was intrigued by the backside of the hospital. It’s so important and it helps us run the hospital.”
When her husband was transferred to Vandenberg Air Force Base, she was pleased to see an opening for Quality Improvement RN at LVMC. It was perfect timing to make the change from the more patient-centric side of nursing to the Quality Improvement role, she said.
“This is the job I really, really wanted, “ Erica said. “This is a good fit for me. I love educating. The teacher part of me hasn’t gone away.”
Erica said that she likes the tight-knit feel of the LVMC staff and that in a small community if she sees something that the community needs in terms of Quality Improvement, “I will be able to get involved and hopefully improve the community as a whole.” #WeAreLVMC