Nurse of the Month: Jill Sandman

Nurse of the Month: Jill Sandman

How did you first learn about Signallamp?

About a year ago, I was looking for a remote position as a care management nurse and learned about Signallamp. Honestly, when I spoke with Jill and then interviewed with Alysha and Jen, I really wanted to accept the position once it was offered. Their energy was contagious, and I was excited about working on a team with them. However, I would have been transitioning to 5 days a week and that made me nervous, so I accepted another remote position as hospice care manager. That position was also remote with overnights for 7 days on and 7 days off. I thought the schedule would fit me better, but I was so unhappy. I didn’t enjoy the workflow and knew something was missing. I couldn’t help but come back to my feelings about Signallamp. All I kept thinking was: “I should have accepted that position.” I reached out to Jill again to see if there were any openings, re-interviewed, and was fortunate to be given another shot so joined the Signallamp family.

What do you like the most about your job?

My favorite part is developing relationships with my patients and the practice. I love seeing those relationships flourish.

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

Overall, as an RN, the best career lesson I have learned is some days are going to be rough – just breathe, don’t panic, and prioritize. Prioritizing is crucial because some days, you will have more on your plate than you can manage on your own. So, manage one task at a time and ask for help when you need it.

Compared with day one, how has Signallamp grown?

The benefits just keep improving for us! I appreciate my flex day off. Although I am really busy on my day off, I feel like it allows me to enjoy my weekends more since I take care of some tasks on Tuesday when I am off.

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

This is such a hard question! There are so many great nurses here at Signallamp. Working under Alysha B when I came on was definitely a plus. She was always approachable and gave great advice. Now, I’m grateful I have Betty C and Kim F to rely on. Honestly, I’m lucky to have such great nurses to work with that I can’t pick just one. I often ask Karissa L, Brittany J, and Sara N for advice too. Nursing, no matter what setting, is a team role. If you try to run solo, you’ll crash.

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

My husband owns a plumbing business, so I am sad to say when I am not working here, I am still working! I do all the billing and administrative work for the business. During summer months, we go out on our boat over the weekends since we live off the chain of lakes in Northern IL. We are about 10 minutes from Wisconsin, so our winters stink! During winter months on weekends, we stream series when we are not working. We just finished Game of Thrones and House of Dragon.

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

My dog is my giant baby, weighing 208 lbs! We spend a lot of time with our dog. Also, I have a degree in nuclear medicine besides my RN.

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

I have had so many crazy experiences with my patients as a nurse. Wow! But here at Signallamp, maybe one of the craziest was my patient who has gender dysphoria and wanted to castrate himself with animal bands! After I hung up with him, I immediately called Alysha.

Share a success story from your time in CCM:

The great thing about being a Signallamp nurse is that we have so many success stories. I recently sent two patients to the ER – one for sepsis and one for SBO (small bowel obstruction). Luckily both took my advice and were admitted. The sepsis patient is very resistant to care and doesn’t always like to follow the advice of his providers. Even before I called him, his PCP reached out asking me to work with him and build a relationship so he would follow her recommendations and those of other providers. At times, it has been difficult, but he has grown to trust me enough that he now reaches out frequently with his concerns and took my advice when I sent him to the ER. He is a renal transplant patient who had uncontrollable diarrhea for two days before he called me. I strongly advised him to go to ER and he was admitted with sepsis due to bowel infection. If I hadn’t intentionally built that rapport with him, he might not have gone and that saved his life. After his hospital stay, they assigned him a transitional care nurse, but he refused to work with her. I talked with the TGH team and kept following him since he wouldn’t work with them. Ultimately, success is truly determined by how your patients express their gratitude for your care of them – and when that happens, it reminds me of the reason why I am a nurse.