Holton Community Hospital History

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Acute Nursing

Acute Nursing is three departments rolled into one.  Acute Nurses serve HCH patients in the Emergency Department, Med/Surg (inpatient), and the Treatment Room.  We are a team of 40 RNs, LPNs, and CNAs who work 24/7/365 to serve our community.  We have two shifts, but it is common to see a night shifter working the occasional day shift, and vice versa.  We are truly one big family in Acute Nursing. 

The department is constantly changing and evolving.  Here are a few of the significant changes they have undergone in the past year:

Charge Nurse role Implementation:

In October 2021, we formally implemented the charge nurse role.  This role was molded by a nurse-driven Committee.  Front-line nursing staff from both days and nights came together to identify opportunities for improvement relating to more efficient workflows (especially with our new patient care areas), advancement opportunities for our nursing staff, nursing staff engagement and growth, and staffing efficiency. During committee work we recognized that our charge nurse role had never been fully defined and developed, and that development continues today.

Director of Nursing Role Change:

In fall 2021, the Director of Nursing role changed significantly.  During COVID it became clear that our acute nursing area needed more resources than they had available to them; in fact for a good portion of that time the only dedicated nursing leadership they had within their department was Tonya Raaf! It was clear that we had an opportunity to provide leadership dedicated solely to our acute nursing and pharmacy teams. So, the nursing leadership structure within the organization changed to accommodate that need, with Krista Eylar taking a position as Chief Nursing Officer and Elizabeth Gerhardt joining our organization as the Director of Nursing.

Department Leadership Restructure

In June 2022, the department management structure changed.  What had previously been a day shift and night shift nurse manager, turned into two different positions: Acute Nurse Manager & Clinical Quality Nurse.  The Acute Nurse Manager, Tonya Raaf, has been with HCH for 19 years.  Tonya has served in many roles starting out as a CNA and then transitioned to Registered Nurse.  She was sas a full-time RN for 5 years before creating and implementing a quality and education program for the nursing department, worked as a case manager for a short time before taking the nurse manager role.  The Clinical Quality Nurse position was filled in October 2022 by Laura Aberle. Laura has been working the past year at HCH in Cardiovascular Services.  Prior to coming to HCH she worked at Hiawatha Community Hospital and has experience in education, quality, and lean management.

The job descriptions for both roles are robust indeed, but the nitty gritty is this The manager is essentially responsible for people, policy, and payroll.  The quality nurse is essentially responsible for project management and process improvement. 

Acute Nursing staff are passionate about the work they do here at HCH.  When asked what they value about their jobs, here are some of the responses from our team:

I love all the staff I work with; it’s an amazing team. I truly believe we care about this community and do our best for them always.” -Kristin Bothwell

“Our job is love people. When it hurts. When it’s awkward. When it’s uncool and embarrassing. Our job is to stand together to carry the burdens of one another and meet each other in our questions. We are able to do all of those things here as a team and as friends.”-Mary Priest

I continue to choose to work at HCH because this does not feel like a job. I enjoy coming to work every day because the staff we have here are amazing and truly care about our community. Our leadership team truly listens and want to ensure that staff have what they need to do their job. HCH feels like home.” -Tonya Raaf 

During my college years, I always had a strong desire to return to my small town, using my education, to give back to my community. I’ve been fortunate to work as a nurse at HCH for two years and counting now. My team has helped nurture me into the nurse that I am today. The quality of care the nursing team provides goes beyond the clinical practice pathway. Our team of nurses are confident, have reliable performances, and focus on quality patient-centered care which equates to excellence. Each nurse on our team is unique and provides different strengths. I’m thankful for my team at HCH, who strives for excellence 100% of the time.” -Mackenzie Moore

Nursing at HCH displays a formative drive to care for and keep patients with their families. When we look upon December we often reflect upon what we are thankful for. Prior to HCH I sought a position where I could put my family’s needs first. I found that n HCV and must give my gratitude. I feel at home here and want our patients to feel the same. We are all homegrown in our home town here. I feel pride in our ability to make healthcare feel way. Many feel healthcare networks is normalcy in that of self. “No Place like home.” -Jake Holston