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Made for going places – Paula Tortorici-Scheff’s story

Made for going places – Paula Tortorici-Scheff’s story

Paula Tortorici-Scheff has always enjoyed traveling, visiting new places and meeting new people. And that’s not just in her personal life, it’s with her career as well. Over the years, she has experienced impressive career growth, and all of it at Northwell Health.

Paula started as a Nursing Assistant, and went on to attain her BSN with honors. She earned her New York RN license and was hired as a staff nurse – all within a matter of months. As a driven nursing professional, she became ANCC Medical-Surgical Nursing Board Certified while obtaining Clinical Ladder III status and advanced to Assistant Nurse Manager.

And she was just getting warmed up.

She’s currently an Administrator, Hospital Operations, where she serves as one of the on-site administrators on the evening and weekend shifts. She also provides operational oversight throughout the hospital.

What’s next for Paula? Thanks to a full-scholarship she received to the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies, she will soon complete her Master’s degree in May 2018 and become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

“I am blessed to have been given the opportunity of a full scholarship as a student of the first inaugural class at Hofstra Northwell Graduate School of Nursing to obtain my Master’s degree. It is not only an amazing experience, but one that is part of an elite and prestigious program and institution. Thank you, Northwell!”

-Paula Tortorici-Scheff, BSN, RN-BC

For those seeking greater opportunities in their own careers, Paula’s advice is simple – “Go for it!” She recommends taking advantage of the education available to Northwell Health nurses at the Hofstra Northwell Graduate School of Nursing. “It’s something that you will be very proud to be part of,” says Paula. “It’s a gift having access to the absolute best faculty, physicians, and clinical experiences — it shines above the other programs. We are also guaranteed job placement with the Northwell Health system. But you have to be driven and determined. You have to want it and keep your focus.”

If you’re looking for a place that encourages and rewards you for being truly ambitious, a career at Northwell Health is made for you. “I am very proud of the opportunities Northwell has given me over the last 21 years,” Paula tells us. “I have built my entire career here and I am far from done.”

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Thinking differently: Zucker Hillside Hospital nurses are redefining behavioral health patient care

Thinking differently: Zucker Hillside Hospital nurses are redefining behavioral health patient care

Helping those suffering from behavioral conditions and addictions takes all of us coming together to bring our best insight and ideas. That’s why Zucker Hillside Hospital continues to be an active participant at the annual American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) Conference.

“We really want to focus on the recovery of our patients. Often, mental illness is stigmatized in this country and it’s one of the things we’re striving to reduce.”

–Kristy Loewenstein, MSN, RN-BC, PMHNP-BC

With eight posters and one podium presentation, we’re so excited to share the amazing things we’ve got going on at Zucker Hillside Hospital with the behavioral health community. Here is a preview of some of the topics our nurses will presenting about:

Experiences and Utilization of the New York State Office of Mental Health’s Preventing and Managing Crisis Situations

Kristy Loewenstein, MSN, RN-BC, PMHNP-BC

Joe Whelan, BS, RN, MBA

Aggressive patient behavior in psychiatry poses a significant challenge for nurses and other professionals. Despite programs instituted to relieve this burden, injury to staff and patients remains a very real concern. A key issue is the inadequate implementation of least-restrictive aggressive behavior management strategies to cope with aggressive incidents. This led to the development and implementation of the NYS OMH’s two-day course in “Preventing and Managing Crisis Situations.” At Zucker Hillside Hospital, this has led to a 22% decrease in staff injuries related to assaults and a 50% decrease in use of restraints as we reached critical mass in PMCS training. We’re excited to share the details of this solution to a vital caregiver concern.

The Journey Toward a Therapeutic Healing Environment for Patients and a Safe Working Environment for Staff

Marybeth McManus, RN, CNO

Kristy Loewenstein, MSN, RN-BC, PMHNP-BC

In addition to creating a therapeutic healing environment within psychiatric units and hospitals, it is imperative to provide a safe working environment for staff members. To this end, a number of programs have been implemented over the past decade to foster an environment that is trauma-informed, patient centered, and provides a therapeutic environment to staff and patients.  We’re excited to share the initiatives and results of this journey to world-class psychiatric care. We’ll be sharing how these approaches combined with strong leadership are fostering a recovery-focused, trauma-informed, patient-centered environment.

We’re so proud of our nurses’ efforts to apply the latest thinking and practices in the field, and the important presentations that result from these efforts. Join Marybeth, Joe, Kristy and others as we show the exciting results of this commitment at APNA.

“It takes a very special nurse to work in behavioral health. You need to have tremendous integrity and communication skills as well as incredible patience and empathy.”

 –Marybeth McManus

To learn more about what to expect from our nurses this week, click here.

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The top 3 reasons to become a Physician Assistant

The top 3 reasons to become a Physician Assistant

Becoming a Physician Assistant (PA) is no easy task, but it’s definitely worth it. As we celebrate Physician Assistants Recognition Week we asked some of our employees what their top 3 reasons to become a PA were. Here is what they had to say.

You’ll do something you love every day.

“For the past 33 years, I wake up every day to do something I love – taking care of people and making a difference. This is something that I have wanted to do since a very young age and the profession was quite young at that time. Now with the profession celebrating its 50th anniversary, I can look back and reflect on how happy I am to have been a part of it all of this time and to look forward to at all of the exciting things that are happening in the PA world. We are in a field that is growing exponentially. As the healthcare landscape is changing, so is the need for PA’s.”

    -Matthew  Shebes, Supervising Physician Assistant, Surgical Services, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

“Within these roles you will have direct contact to patients – in a physical and conversational way. These relationships drive you to come up with the best treatment plans to help them get better.”

    -Martin Morales, Corporate Director, Physician Assistant ServicesYou will be challenged, in a good way.

You will be challenged, in a good way.

“Working in medicine is an ever-changing landscape that requires me to be up to date with the medical knowledge, and processes. There is always a challenge and boredom does not exist. I am also heavily involved in PA education. I am an adjunct at the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies and have been a preceptor for several of the PA programs for many years. To see students that studied under my tutelage go on to graduate and move up to prominent members of the PA profession is extremely rewarding.”

    -Matthew Shebes, Supervising Physician Assistant, Surgical Services, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

“The key to any rewarding job is to be challenged. As a Physician Assistant, you are constantly tasked with assessing your patients’ problems and applying curative/preventative measures. The tiniest intervention can greatly improve an individual’s quality of life. Since PA’s are team players who are constantly interacting with various healthcare professionals, you also have the ability to impact your colleagues – whether it be doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, etc. One of the reasons why I love my job is the interactions I have with my patients, my coworkers and the privilege of influencing an individual’s life.”

    -Jane Joseph, Physician Assistant, Mid-Level Providers, North Shore University HospitalFlexibility.


“The PA model has become more autonomous over the years and this allows PA’s to develop exceptional skill in their area of expertise. Also, the ability to have a nice lifestyle, enjoy my family and make a nice living.”

    -Matthew Shebes, Supervising Physician Assistant, Surgical Services, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

“The versatility of this career is amazing. You can choose any specialty you want without limitations and you can treat a wide range of patients. There will also be a shortage of PA’s within the next 5 years because demand is high and the schools can’t keep up – job security and compensation will never be better.”

    -Martin Morales, Corporate Director, Physician Assistant Services

“Physician Assistants have the unique advantage of being able to practice in various medical specialties. This allows us to gain experience and constantly expand our knowledge base. We have the ability to find our niche and stick with it, or change specialties at any point in our career. It provides PAs with a wide range of options, a great job market, and lifelong learning.”

    -Jane Joseph, Physician Assistant, Mid-Level Providers, North Shore University Hospital

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Find an exceptional home for providing extraordinary emergency care.

Find an exceptional home for providing extraordinary emergency care.

For remarkable care and exhilarating careers, there’s nowhere like the emergency department at Northern Westchester Hospital. We’re a community-based hospital handling a wide variety of acuity and demographics in our fast-paced, high-volume ED – from newborns to the elderly. If you’ve got drive, ambition and strong critical thinking skills, you’re made for this opportunity.

Delivering the right care…

Northern Westchester Hospital is in a league of its own for its unparalleled quality of care. But don’t just take our word for it. We’ve received some of the most prestigious recognition in our field:

  • Planetree Hospital with Distinction for 10+ years
  • Two-time Magnet® designation
  • Gold Star status as a primary stroke center

“Very few hospitals in the country can claim the honor of both Magnet® and Plaintree recognition – certainly none in our area.”

–Cathy Tarpey, ACPM, RN

…at the right time…

Our ED is there to deliver the most advanced and effective care when it’s needed most. This 26-bed unit handles an average of 29,000 visits per year. Within the ED, we utilize innovative technology, including electronic medical records, telemedicine/telepsych, capnography and more to ensure our patients get the finest care at the most challenging times.

“Our ED has an abundance of state-of-the-art equipment and technologies that enhance patient care and safety.”

–Cathy Tarpey, ACPM, RN

…with the right support…

At Northern Westchester Hospital, everything is in place to help you thrive in your emergency nursing career. The department uses a team-based approach, bringing together highly qualified nurses, physicians, advanced practitioners and techs to provide patients with the best care possible. Looking for the chance to really hone your skills? We provide a Clinical Ladder, tuition reimbursement, cross training for clinical advancement, fellowship programs, student nursing programs (SNAP), paid conference opportunities, free classes for certification plus bonuses for certifications and advanced degrees. With our shared governance model, you’ll also have a strong voice in the direction of our care and your career.

“Working in our ED will definitely enhance your clinical judgment and skills.  Our doctors trust and rely on our nurses’ assessments and information.”

–Meghan Walter, ED Quality Rep, RN

…could make this the right place for you.

If you’re looking for the close-knit setting of a community hospital but the vast career benefits of an award-winning health system with access to state-of-the-art procedures and education, you’ll find it at Northern Westchester Hospital. You’re made for more in your emergency nursing career. Here’s how you can get it today! 

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When your military service continues, so does Northwell Health’s support

When your military service continues, so does Northwell Health’s support

Reservists face unique challenges as they balance a civilian job with ongoing military obligations. Just ask Reservist and Core Laboratories Clerk Davesha Taylor. Her Reservist duties include regular training that often involves weekday assignments overlapping her work schedule. We’re honored to be able to help Davesha grow in her career with us while she continues to meet her military commitments.

“I owe a lot of thanks to the kind staff I work with,” says Davesha. “They are very considerate of me whenever I need to take time off for military training.”

We recognize that there’s more to helping our veterans than merely finding them a job. As a Military Friendly® Employer for three years in a row, we’re there to continue to support veterans throughout their time with us – such as offering flexible scheduling and pay differentials for reservists.

For Davesha, her role as a clerk with us is just the start. Her vision and passion is to attend medical school to become a Forensic Pathologist, and we’ll be there to help her make this dream a reality.

“Thanks to Northwell Health, my transition from the military has been smooth and easy,” Davesha acknowledges.

Veterans like Davesha Taylor have sacrificed so much in the service of our country. At Northwell Health, we’re proud that they choose to continue their life of service with us.

If you’d like to learn more about our commitment to your career transition and growth, please visit: NorthwellCareers.com/Veterans.

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We’re discovering new directions to help put our patients on the road to recovery

We’re discovering new directions to help put our patients on the road to recovery

At Zucker Hillside Hospital, we’re applying best practices as well as our own innovative solutions to helping those suffering from a wide range of behavioral conditions and addictions. We’ll be sharing some of these unique approaches to behavioral health at the upcoming American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s 31st Annual Conference. Here is a preview of some of the topics we’re presenting:

I Am Unique – Olesya Gavrylyuk, Nurse Manager

We focus on our patients as unique individuals, not as a symptom, a discharge or an admission. That’s the spirit behind the “I Am Unique” presentation. From the beginning of their time with us, we become immersed in our patients’ unique story. When treated like an individual, we can empower and motivate them to find hope, take medication, move on with their treatment and eventually go into the community. We’ve had great success with this approach and have received positive feedback from our patients. Everyone on the Zucker Hillside team works together to make it a success – from the doctors to the housekeepers. It is now being applied in all of our units.

Elevated Family-Centered ECT – Marie Horowitz RN, Nurse Manager

There are many misconceptions about electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which have interfered with patient compliance with treatment and their return to optimal health. The ECT team wanted to dispel the myths by embracing transparency with patients and their families. New initiatives include more in-depth education, purposeful rounding in our waiting room, as well as inviting family members to view a treatment. We looked at evidence based practices at other ECT units and explored additional ways where we could elevate our practice. We’ve expanded our hours from early morning to late evening. We provide designated parking, and developed more reasonable ECT fasting guidelines. We have improved our patient and family satisfaction by providing comfort in our waiting room with visits from service dogs, activities such as tablets, coloring books, puzzles and games. We’ve received very positive feedback on our new initiatives and continue to welcome suggestions from our patients and families.

Striving for the S.T.A.R.S. – Paul Panakal, Director of Patient Care Services

Patient discharge can be one of the most rewarding aspects of our work. Yet, our patient satisfaction scores showed there was room for improvement in prepping a patient for discharge. In response, we created S.T.A.R.S. – Strategy Toward Achieving Recovery. Each discipline had a part to play. Nursing provided one-to-one patient education sessions and general education medication groups. Psychologists and social workers offered a coping skills group as well as a handout with discharge instructions. Together, we improved patient understanding of instructions, discharge medications and where they can find help if relapsing. This presentation will show the power of interdisciplinary collaboration to solve common problems and improve the patient experience.

Our nurses are focused on treating each patient like a person, recognizing their very individualized needs. Presentations like those of Olesya, Marie and Paul show the exciting results of this commitment.

“It’s all about caring, paying attention, being present and listening. A patient is not only a diagnosis. Every patient’s story and experience is unique.”

–Olesya Gavrylyuk, Nurse Manager