Perspective Online

Making a Difference

by Barret McDowell '13

Making a Difference It's hard to believe that it's already been a year, but I graduated from UWG's Newnan School of Nursing December 2013 and was hired almost immediately a nurse in the emergency department at Piedmont Newnan Hospital. Expecting that I would be smitten with the pace and intensity of emergency medicine, I requested it for my final clinical rotation and was fortunate enough to find placement at PNH. On my second day, a patient came to us in full cardiac arrest, and I was pulled in the room to help. About 10 seconds into the code, watching everyone around me operate seamlessly in a ballet of controlled chaos, I was hooked. Armed with my newfound career direction and some excellent clinical experience, I parlayed that rotation into a staff position.

After working for a few months, I knew I wanted to keep going and expand my scope of practice so I could get into performing some of the really fun ER procedures. I knew that most nurse practitioner students had several years of experience before applying, but following some candid conversations with a few of my old professors at UWG, I decided to throw my hat in the ring and try my luck. I applied to the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Family NP program and, throwing caution to the wind, didn't name a secondary choice. Thankfully, this gamble paid off and I got in. So far, it's been an incredible experience, and I've got some very exciting clinical rotations coming up in Grady's trauma unit and at Emory with a cardio-thoracic surgeon.

In January, I teamed up with one of our physician's assistants and a friend of mine who is a doctor in the ER and started a company called GoMed that provides at home medical care. We use PAs and NPs to take the waiting, pathogenic exposure, and sometimes costly ambulance transport out of seeing a healthcare provider by bringing the provider to the patient. In our short time, we have been very fortunate to be able to bring quality medical care to some incredible people in the community, some of whom may not have been able to receive care otherwise.

UWG prepared me exceptionally well to be a functional member of a healthcare team right out of the gate and afforded me some amazing opportunities along the way. I can't wait to see the new Newnan campus completed and meet the new round of young nurses ready to dive in and make a difference.

Barret McDowell '13 is a nurse in the emergency department at Piedmont Newnan Hospital.

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