Department Spotlight: Float Pool
December 29, 2023Ring in the New Year and the rest of the holiday season by celebrating Renown’s Float Pool team!
After coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's no mystery that healthcare across the country has shifted and adapted to the growing needs and new demands of our patient populations. Renown Health is no different. As the largest not-for-profit health system in the region, we are no stranger to change, even when change presents challenges. Who do we call on when a unit needs more team members in the eleventh hour? Who can help when our patient volume spikes up with seconds to spare?
This is where the Float Pool at Renown comes to the rescue. Skilled in a wide variety of healthcare specialties, from acute care nursing and critical care to care aiding and patient safety, this is the team that can seamlessly step in to provide crucial patient care to the units that need it most, whether a team is understaffed for the day or needs extra all-hands-on-deck for a specific patient or procedure. Float Pool team members are equipped to work in virtually any clinical area at Renown, making a genuine difference with every patient they encounter.
A Pool of ReliefTeams across Renown can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Float Pool has their back in times of need. As the backbone of our health system, these dedicated team members possess a wealth of clinical knowledge and the ability to navigate diverse medical environments. Their flexibility allows them to fill staffing gaps and provide essential support to many different units.
“We fill in the gaps of staffing to make everyone's day better,” said Patti Crepps, Critical Care Float Pool RN. “A float nurse has to be flexible and able to adapt to different situations and places – basically, ‘go with the flow.’ Patient care is basically the same all over; we make patient care possible by being familiar with all the various specialties and providing the specific care needed depending on the population we are taking care of on that shift.”
“Float Pool staff members are like healthcare chameleons, transitioning between different departments,” added Shelby Riach, Acute Float Pool RN. “We incorporate flexibility, teamwork and a commitment to ensuring patients receive the best care, regardless of the setting or circumstances.”
This team thrives in uncertainty; in fact, no workday is the same in Float Pool – and that’s exactly the way they like it. Working with many different teams across a multitude of specialties, these Care Aides, RNs, Critical Care Techs, Patient Safety Assistants (PSAs), Certified Nurses Assistants (CNAs) and more enjoy facing change, while they all share a goal of providing the best patient care possible.
“No day looks the same; since we are the Float Pool, we are assigned a different assignment on Smart Square every day, whether it be as a care aide, a patient safety assistant, a unit clerk or patient transport,” said Melina Castenada, Care Aide. “If we are assigned as a care aide on the floor, we help assist with call lights and help with whatever nurses and CNAs may need, including feeding, transporting, walking, helping patients use the restroom, etc. When we are assigned as a PSA ‘sitter,’ we sit for the patient to help keep them safe. If we are assigned as unit clerk, we help answer phones and direct patients appropriately, file paperwork, answer call lights if needed and assist with office work.”
“I love that every day is a different floor with different tasks and a different atmosphere,” added Julia Chappell, Critical Care Technician. “I find out which floor that I will be on right before my shift starts and head to the floor to find out my assignment for the day. Depending on the specialty, such as the medical-surgical floor versus an intensive care unit (ICU), my daily job tasks can vary.”
When it comes to high-risk patients, who require special attention, PSAs within Float Pool step in to help.
“The PSA role within Float Pool largely consists of adverse event prevention for our high-risk patients, and being a Float Pool employee allows us to work wherever we are needed,” said Dimitri Macouin, Patient Safety Assistant. “Whether it be in the emergency department, neurology or pediatrics, the PSA will be the eyes and ears for the nurses working with this patient population.”
“Great strides have been made to ensure that PSAs remain vigilant and are recognized as an integral part of the patients' care team rather than 'just a sitter,’” added Karla Phillips, Patient Safety Assistant.
Float Pool also oversees our Discharge Lounge, which offers patients and their families a dedicated space to reconnect and prepare for their discharge from the hospital.
“The increase in utilization of the Discharge Lounge is something we are very proud of,” said Kara Abshier, Care Aide. “We assist in discharging patients from all over the hospital to help the floor and get new patients into rooms.”
Every day brings a new challenge for Float Pool. As these team members wake up with uncertainty, they are ready to embrace the diverse demands of caring for patients of all ages.
“The fact that Float Pool exists is amazing,” said Hannah Luccshesi, Acute Float Pool RN. “We wake up with no clue as to whether we will be working with babies, children or adults and then fill in the needs of the hospital.”
The Friendliest FloatersBeing in the hospital for any reason can be intimidating for anyone. But when you’re welcomed with a smiling face and an empathetic spirit, it can feel like a small weight is lifted off your shoulders. This is what our Float Pool is known for – being some of the friendliest care teams out there.
“I make sure that the patient feels like they are in their home rather than in the hospital,” said May Rosette, Acute Float Pool CNA. “I always say good morning to them and introduce myself at the start of my shift. I offer them some coffee or warm washed clothes just to freshen up their morning.”
“I always greet my patients with a smile and introduce myself,” added Lois Flowers, Care Aide. “I listen to their concerns and fears and show empathy to help them feel calmer. I never rush the patient; I take time to ask them questions about family, pets or hobbies."
“I talk to my patients and always show my empathy to them, listen to them if they want to talk and give them hope and encouragement,” added Norma Sy, Patient Safety Assistant.
Communication is at the forefront of any work our Float Pool does. In fact, they attribute communication to being a key factor in helping patients work through fears that come with a hospital visit.
“I think the best thing you can do to reduce anxiety is to communicate,” said Kristy Anderson, Maternal Child Resource Team RN. “I start each shift by telling the patients what I plan to do and when they can expect me back, and I let them know if they need anything to ring their call light. I do what I say I'm going to do."
“I validate their feelings and ask them what and why they are in fear,” added Kristine Bui, New Grad Acute Float Pool RN. “I elaborate with the patient and find ways to help patient cope, individualizing therapeutic communication for each patient while showing empathy.”
Like in the pageant circuit, if there was a congeniality award for hospitals, the Float Pool team would be high up in the running. They pride themselves on being immensely supportive of each other.
“Allowing Critical Care Techs to be in Float Pool has been a great addition,” said Julia Chappell. “Our team is always supportive, and we have a strong bond, despite not having a ‘home floor.’”
“I get to know all my staff even if I don't go to the unit often, so that way when I return, I'm comfortable with everyone and vice versa,” added Asiah Roach, Critical Care Technician.
In July 2023, 84% of team members who participated in Renown’s Employee Engagement Survey reported that they are proud to work for our health system. Float Pool takes that one step further, consistently saying that they not only are proud to work here, but they also genuinely love every aspect of their jobs.
“I absolutely love my position with Float Pool, and our management team is, without a doubt, the best team I've ever worked under,” added Stephanie Asher, Acute Float Pool RN.
The positivity that this team exudes is contagious, and our many departments at Renown feel the pride of Float Pool in every interaction they have with them.
“Staff from other floors are constantly asking how I like the Float Pool, and every one of them that I've spoken to have said they've heard nothing but positive things from float staff; I feel like we are all proud floaters,” said Catheline Johnny, Acute Float Pool CNA.
Float Into a Career at Renown
Ready for your next challenge in healthcare but don’t have your heart set on a specific unit? Renown’s Float Pool may be the optimal team for you! The proof of this team’s success is evident in the words of inspiration from their very own employees.
“I absolutely love Float Pool; it has been amazing, and I am very grateful that I get to expand my knowledge every day from getting to work on different floors and helping patients that vary in acuity,” said Brandon Lawrence, Critical Care Technician. “After getting to work with some Float Pool staff, I wanted to be just as proficient in the same fields as they were to further provide patient care. This role has been one of the best opportunities I have received, especially since I’m going to school for nursing. I believe that getting the opportunity to help and work on every unit will really expand my knowledge for when I become a nurse and hopefully become one of the many amazing Float Pool nurses.”
This department embraces the natural versatility and continuous learning that comes with being a Float Pool team member. Whether they’ve remained in the same role or moved to a different position within the department, their attitudes remain the same: they find joy in the variety and learning opportunities that each shift brings.
“Working as a Care Aide has been a rewarding experience for me, and after just a month in my department, I've been given the opportunity to float to different floors,” said Jhing Licarte Dospueblos, Care Aide. “Surprisingly, I've found that I truly enjoy the variety and learning experience that comes with being floated. Every shift brings new challenges and opportunities to expand my skills, which has motivated me to make the decision to join the Float Pool team. Embracing the flexibility and continuous learning has not only enriched my role but also inspired a deeper commitment to providing quality care in various settings.”
“I was first hired as a Care Aide in Nov. 2021, and back then, the Care Aide was a new position that Float Pool developed to help the medical team out during the pandemic,” added Nicole Gesselman, Acute Float Pool RN. “February will mark two years as a new nurse, and June 2024 will mark two years as an RN in Float Pool.”
Several Float Pool team members joined after a successful career at other health systems or outside of healthcare altogether, taking the skills they learned in their jobs directly to the bedside.
“I am a retired educator who served as a school principal, school counselor and school psychologist with skills that can benefit others,” said Doug Whitener, Patient Safety Assistant. “The PSA job allows me to practice active listening and compassion at Renown on a part-time basis."
Leading with confidence and expressing the utmost patience and respect for your colleagues, patients and community members are vital qualities in the ideal Float Pool candidate. If you’re more than ready to jump into the unknown, this may be the perfect challenge for you.
As stated by several team members, a good coworker in Float Pool emulates the following:
- “A good coworker in my department is someone who is adaptable and willing to work in unfamiliar situations and locations with confidence. Being in the Float Pool brings a whole new set of challenges for employees with the inconsistency of location, so one that is willing to work equally as hard, or harder, than those without that challenge are the best ones to work with!” - Natasha Marko, Care Aide
- “It’s important to be mindful of others needs and challenges on the floors and units, and have respect for differences and patience with others. We enjoy individuals who are a positive influence with a professional attitude on our team.” - Amanda Penn, Patient Safety Assistant
- “Someone who is engaged in the organization, has good interpersonal skills and wants to provide excellent quality of work will do well in Float Pool." - Michael Henson, Patient Safety Assistant
- “Be willing to ask questions, and use your critical thinking skills. We are looking for someone who is genuinely here to help people.” - Angie Morgan, Acute Float Pool RN
If you love meeting a diverse array of people and never knowing where the day will take you, look no further than our Float Pool.
“I love Float Pool!” said Susy Mariscal, Acute Float Pool RN. “I love the variety of units and specialty floors I get to go to and enjoy meeting new people.”
Join in on the love by applying for a Float Pool career at renown.org/careers.
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