Nurse of the Month: Amber Rumbaugh

Nurse of the Month: Amber Rumbaugh

How did you first learn about Signallamp?

After finishing up my contracted position giving vaccinations with CVS, I wanted something more stable, and I first learned about Signallamp through Indeed.

What do you like the most about your job?

Most of my nursing career so far has been spent in the hospital on a med-surg unit and that was a rough experience. I was overwhelmed with patients and always felt like I was stretched too thin. There were several days when I’d leave, feeling as though I hadn’t done enough for my people. I felt like I wasn’t able to give the care I wanted to be able to give because there was never enough time. So, I love that I am able to take my time with the patients. Here I can talk with them one-on-one and give them the attention they need.

What is the best career lesson you have learned so far?

I have learned the value of always trying to be kind. Some of these patients may have no one else to speak with, and they look forward to our interactions. Sometimes it can be frustrating when trying to explain things to patients, but it is important to be patient and understanding with them. It can be too easy to forget that not everyone knows what nurses know about medications and conditions. If the patient needs to be gently reminded about the same things with each call that is okay. Always be kind.

Compared with day one, how has Signallamp grown?

Honestly, I think this is a great company! There is always someone there to answer my questions or give guidance. My team leader, Kate, is fantastic. She’s a great resource for us, and our team is always willing to help out. Everyone I have worked with has been so nice. During my time here there are many changes being made for the better, such as new programs with insurance and all the workshops. It’s all so beneficial.

If you could select one co-worker to mentor you, who would you pick and why?

Kate A is my team lead, and I would pick her for my mentor. She was great when I first started calling patients. She has been doing this for a while now, and when she first started, she had to figure out a lot of stuff on her own so she knows a lot about resources and has answers for things I might never have come up with before.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

When the weather is nice, I enjoy just sitting out in my backyard, watching and feeding the animals. Squirrels know that if I am outside, I will feed them. They come up to the deck where I am sitting and will take the peanut out of my hand. I also enjoy sampling a wide variety of desserts while travelling with my boyfriend. And of course, I enjoy shopping and contributing to my shoe and purse collections!

What is a fun fact about you many people may not know?

I have taken the same family vacation every year since I was 4 years old. I am 33 now and we stay at the same place with my parents at Rehoboth Beach. I also love all things Disney.

Tell us about the craziest experience you have had with a patient:

When I was working the med-surg unit we had a 550 lb patient come in with Charcot foot. She was from another state and about 4 hours away but could not find anyone closer to do the operation to correct this. In the hospital where I worked there was a doctor who decided he would do this procedure. When it was done, her leg was put in an external fixator that could hold 500 lbs. The plan was to put this patient on a carb control diet and have her lose weight so she could be discharged. She did not like the diet she was put on, so she had food delivered from multiple places and basically ordered a pizza every day. By now she had been on our unit for a while and had snacks or food delivered from Amazon and Walmart. It got to the point where she was gaining weight instead of losing it. SNFs and rehab facilities would not take her because they could not accommodate her. She ended up spending 65 days on the med surg unit and gaining 100 lbs while she was there. At the end of her stay we sent her back to her state for home care. When transport came, she had to be strapped to the stretcher with Coban and Kerlix just to keep her in place. This was just a crazy situation all around.

Share a success story from your time in CCM:

While performing my monthly call with a patient we performed a PHQ-9 assessment, and she reported having thoughts of hurting herself. This worried me so I sent a ticket for assistance and another nurse contacted me, listening while I spoke with the patient. After making sure the patient did not have a plan in place, I explained I would contact the office to get her an appointment sooner. I also encouraged her to make an appointment with her counselor as well. The next day I spoke with her again, letting her know we could get an ambulance to take her to the hospital if her harmful thoughts continued. She explained her situation further and reported she felt better after talking and would call her counselor.