From Directing Traffic to Directing Patients at Sharp HealthCare
Deena Smith's Second Act
What do you want to be when you grow up? For many people—regardless of age—that can be a tough question to answer. Hopefully, in the end, you find a career that you love! Deena Smith has been lucky enough to have a first act as a traffic engineer, making sure cars were moving efficiently on San Diego streets—and now a second act as a nurse manager over patient placement at Sharp HealthCare making sure that patients are moving efficiently through the health system.
This story can be found in the Summer 2018 Issue of TeleTracking's Patient Flow Quarterly Magazine.Download the full issue.
Please give a brief overview of your background and what led you to patient flow?
When I was in college, I was interested in healthcare. In fact, I thought about medical school at one point, but in the end, I decided to pursue engineering. I worked for years as a traffic engineer in San Diego where my role was focused on improving processes that led to safer, more efficient traffic patterns for the city’s residents. In that role, I worked with different members of the public from business owners to government officials, and so I understood the importance of customer focus and looking at a situation from someone else’s perspective. I loved my job, but the idea of working in healthcare stayed with me, and in 2010 I made the decision to become a nurse and knew right away that I wanted to work for Sharp. My first few years there, I worked directly with patients, which I loved. Then I learned about an opportunity in patient placement and it seemed like the perfect way to use my combined experiences—improving processes, maintaining safety and working collaboratively to solve problems. When I was hired, I felt like I had hit the lottery!
Read the full interview by downloading the PDF below.