When asked to describe what she was looking for in a new PA job, Kristen says, “the biggest thing for me is the ability to leave work at work.”
Before joining AP Health in August 2021, Kristen was a PA with a physician group for two years. She spent her time in clinic from 8 to 5 each day, often with hospital rounds, surgery and office procedures. She was also on call on the weekends frequently.
“I felt like I could never put my phone down. It just got to be too much. Now, I can take the dogs for beach walks and relax. I am able leave my phone in the car and not have anxiety about it.”
At AP Health, Kristen works at Jupiter Medical Center, assisting in labor and delivery surgeries and as well as helping out in the main OR. She likes the learning opportunities through assisting in different kinds of surgeries, but labor and delivery remains her favorite.
“I love C-sections,” she says. “They’re unique in the sense that the patient is awake, so I still get to have that patient interaction which is nice. “
Kristen typically gets in around 7 a.m. to set up the OR for a 7:30 C-section. Then there are additional surgeries at 9:30 and 12:30, with her heading home around 3 p.m.
“Things can definitely move around a bit,” Kristen explains. “And if it’s busy, we may add a C-section in the afternoon. You can’t always predict with babies.”
“There’s a really good work-life balance here, which is nice,” Kristen explains. “I like the focus on being a valued part of the surgical team. There are times when I may get called in after-hours or help out on my days off, but when I do work extra, there’s direct compensation, along with gratitude.”
Helping AP Health Grow
In addition to her work in the labor and delivery OR, Kristen has been instrumental in helping AP learn about opportunities for the company to grow in other areas of the hospital. The company already provided staff for the cardiac unit, but not the main OR.
“Labor and Delivery has its own suite on the third floor, but I knew AP Health wanted to provide staff for the main OR,” she explains. “When I had time, I’d go down the main OR on the second floor and just tell them that I was available if they needed help. Or if there was an interesting case that I’d love to scrub in.”
As a result, Kristen has scrubbed in on orthopedic and plastic surgeries as well.
“I’ve also done some OB-GYN surgeries, since I am now very familiar with the anatomy,” she explains. “And I really enjoy suturing.”
Kristen’s initiative and ability to build relationships helped AP Health identify opportunities in the main OR, which it now helps staff.
“The surgeons here, especially in the OB department, are really awesome to work with,” Kristen says. “While my weekends are mine for the most part, if they need me, I try to make myself available to lend a helping hand. But I’ve only been called a handful of times on the weekends since I started, which is great because it shows that my time is respected.”
Kristen says. “AP Health has been like a breath of fresh air.”