Life at PointClickCare: Karen Camacho, Our Nurse of the Month
As part of our celebration of the WHO’s Year of the Nurse and Midwife in 2020, PointClickCare is paying tribute to LTPAC nurses nominated by colleagues in their communities – and to nurses in our own company. This month, we’re highlighting our product escalation manager, Karen Camacho, MBA, BSN, RN-BC, CPHIMS. Although Karen’s been a nurse for 24 years, she’s spent very little of it in a “traditional” bedside role – which suits her just fine.
From Candy Striper to PointClickCare, With Stops In Between
Karen was introduced to patient care as a candy striper (junior volunteer) while she was in high school; she also worked as home health aide and CNA. But she didn’t originally plan to go to nursing school when she graduated.
“After working as an aide for a while, nursing school just seemed like a natural progression from there. I think it was a good choice, and I’m now the Alumni Board chair for my nursing school! My first job was in bedside open-heart ICU nursing. Later, I decided to move into doing implementation for pharma and home care software.”
Karen had never heard of PointClickCare until she took a job as the IT director/system administrator for a multi-facility organization in Buffalo, NY. She became a long-time customer – and we obviously made a great impression on her.
“I was surprised at how easy it was to use the PointClickCare solution and went to my first SUMMIT within a few months of starting my job. What attracted me to eventually work for the company was the diversity of the workforce, the corporate culture and working for the industry leader. We’ve been able to pivot quickly as COVID-19 has changed the needs of the industry.”
Nursing: Offering Unlimited Options
Karen joined PointClickCare in January of this year, to help our product teams prioritize maintenance and manage urgent issues. So far, she’s found challenge and satisfaction in her position.
“I love process improvement. Much of my job involves breaking down communication barriers and problem-solving. Anytime I feel like we’ve created a better process is rewarding to me.”
As a nurse who’s worked away from the bedside for the majority of her career, Karen hopes she’s changing public perceptions of where trained nurses can work and what they can contribute.
“A nursing background affords skills that can be used in a variety of settings other than patient care. For example, nurses make great project managers because they’re used to coordinating with multiple departments and planning care.”
Karen points out that most nurses don’t belong to local or national organizations, adding to misconceptions and a lack of support.
“I’d love to change the perception of nursing by improving nursing identity as a whole. As members of organizations, we’d be able to better advocate for ourselves! There are a lot of us, and we should be heard.”
She believes the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, occurring unexpectedly during a pandemic, will also shine a light on the profession.
“Nurses are vital to the response to COVID-19, and I hope the WHO initiative brings a new focus to the important voices we have across the healthcare continuum and beyond.”
Tech Has Changed Nursing Forever
Although she’s not providing patient care, Karen’s empathy for nurses in that role remains strong. She knows what they need, and says technology is altering the way they work for the better.
“I’ve heard nurses complain about the time and energy it takes to document for my whole nursing career. The reality is that there is no comparison between paper and electronic. Pre-EMR truly was the bad old days. I’m envious of the resources clinicians have at their fingertips now, like decision support, research, and evidence-based practices.”
Have an Open Mind – and a Current License
Looking ahead, Karen hopes to still be with PointClickCare in ten years, saying she’d “like to stay in one place for a while!” Looking back, her initial nursing experience taught her a lifelong lesson.
“My first patient ever was a quadriplegic who was non-compliant and a very difficult person to work with. That really helped me put things in perspective; not all patients are going to follow instructions or be eternally grateful for your care. You have to persevere even when it’s hard and thankless.”
Karen urges those considering a career in nursing to keep their options open.
“Think beyond the bedside! Nursing needs data scientists, researchers, managers, expert witnesses. One degree can bring you a multitude of possibilities. The most important thing I’ve learned is to never let your license expire. You don’t know where life will take you and when it can come in handy.”
We’re excited that Karen followed her own advice and brought her skills and experience to PointClickCare.
August 28, 2020