Trauma program and family ties at Paoli Hospital

Suzanne had heard good things about working at Paoli Hospital. After all her mother-in-law works in the radiology department, her husband in the cardiac cath lab and her father-in-law in the emergency department. But what excited her most was the trauma program. Paoli Hospital is a level II regional trauma center led by medical director Kris Kaulback, MD, FACS. As an emergency staff nurse, Suzanne enjoys the emergency department environment, even the night work which she’s always been comfortable with, thanks to her time in the military. She also appreciates the exceptional level of team work and critical thinking requirements that keep an emergency department running smoothly. “Everyone works really well together,” she says, “chipping in and helping out.”

Military service breeds leadership as a way of life

Suzanne grew up in Exton and went on to graduate from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., during which time she participated in the ROTC program at Georgetown University. After graduating she was commissioned as a second lieutenant and was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where she worked in the med-surg ward. During that time she found herself drawn to the emergency department. When she moved to Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington state, she worked in the emergency department at a level II trauma hospital where she continued to gain a tremendous amount of experience. From there Suzanne was deployed to Afghanistan as an ER trauma nurse. On her return she joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard where she continues to serve many weekends and several weeks throughout the year.

“The Army forces you into leadership early on,” she says, remembering her appointment as a charge nurse on the floor during her first six months in the military and later role as ER charge nurse and interim head nurse. “I think that’s what drew me into the ED everywhere,” she continues, “the leadership, the teamwork, working with PAs, nurses, techs and physicians.” Suzanne’s past work as a nurse at Riddle Hospital included teaching for the ED Safe Program and participating in various committees. She points to Main Line Health’s Magnet® status (which promotes leadership among nurses) and a focus on education that continues to resonate with her. She is currently working towards her Master of Science in Nursing at Villanova while also expecting her first baby.

Why veteran employment at Main Line Health?

Suzanne emphasizes how important it is when applying for a position, to know that the company you’re going to be working for is flexible with scheduling and willing to accommodate your needs as a military veteran, especially when in the Army National Guard. When it comes to working around her drill weekends, she says, “Paoli Hospital bends over backwards. They have great leadership, and to me that means they care about you, they put you first, they make sure your scheduling works, and that you’re safe at work. It’s good to know your boss and clinical leads back you and will be there for you.”

She also notes that the employees work hard at Paoli and there’s a good working environment that meshes with the kind of support and cohesiveness military veterans are used to. “Even your peers will have your back,” adds Suzanne. “You don’t have to be a head nurse to show leadership. People step up.”