A Letter from Deborah Baker: The Role of Your Career, Right Here

Fall 2023 As Seen in Our Fall 2023 Issue
A Letter from Deborah Baker: The Role of Your Career, Right Here

In my role as the senior vice president for nursing for The Johns Hopkins Health System, I have the opportunity to travel to each of our unique and outstanding hospitals, outpatient centers, clinics, and other facilities to see the incredible nursing care provided at these sites. One thing that always stands out to me is the tremendous variety of roles and care settings in which Johns Hopkins nurses work, with countless opportunities to explore their interests and passion. Whether focusing on a certain specialty, patient population, practice environment, or level of acuity, our nurses have many ways to grow in their careers.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the largest of our six academic and community hospitals, has 1,146 patient beds, including 204 pediatric beds at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and serves patients both from the greater Baltimore community and across the globe. There are a vast number of clinical specialties, and nurses at JHH can have the opportunity to work with the most advanced perioperative technology, help heal the tiniest patients, specialize in cancer treatment or high-risk obstetrics, and manage the critically ill through intensive to ambulatory care.

Our nurses at The Johns Hopkins Hospital span many unique areas. The HATS (Hemapheresis and Transfusion Support) Clinic, a 10-bed ambulatory clinic under dual leadership of Pathology and Oncology, is staffed by all nurses and provides apheresis to outpatients, inpatients, pediatric patients, and adult patients. The Vascular Access Team (VAT) is a dedicated group of expert nurses that assists care teams in determining the optimal vascular access line to meet the patient’s needs, and provides vascular access education. Nurses working on the Lifeline Transport Team, an integral part of the department of emergency medicine, execute thousands of air, ground, and in-house patient transports yearly and assist in preserving the lives of our most critically ill patients during these transports. From the biocontainment unit to the brain rescue unit, to radiation oncology and the pediatric clinical research unit, there are countless specialty areas to keep Johns Hopkins Hospital nurses on the forefront of patient care, discovery, and learning.

The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center is recognized for excellence in many specialties, including bariatric surgery, hip and knee replacement, spine surgery, stroke care, burn treatment, and behavioral health. The hospital also houses Maryland’s only regional burn center, a designated level II trauma center and a pediatric center for emergency care. The center offers the latest research and technologies for treating burn-related injuries from flames, chemicals, electricity, and scalds, and also provides treatment for complicated skin infections and other wounds. Burns nurses’ scope of practice includes pain management, fluid balance, critical care, stabilizing acutely burned patients, trauma recovery, and rehabilitation. They manage the treatment of sepsis and other infections, and dress highly complex wounds. Although it’s a highly challenging role, these expert burn nurses make a significant difference at one of the most difficult moments in their patients’ lives.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, in St. Petersburg, FL provides expert pediatric care for infants, children, and teens with some of the most challenging medical problems, and offers more than 50 pediatric medical and surgical subspecialties. The hospital houses the Center for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH),the only unit in the country dedicated solely to 24/7 CDH care. Families relocate from around the country and the world for this specialized care, and the patients are often some of the sickest in the hospital. The unit’s specially trained multidisciplinary team cares for critically ill patients across the continuum of care—from admission (often just after birth) to discharge. The patients remain on the unit throughout their care, from pre-op to post-op to discharge, allowing the nurses to see their patients progress over the course of treatment. The unit also houses all respiratory ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) for the hospital, a lifesaving machine that supports patients’ heart and lungs.

The other hospitals in the Johns Hopkins Health System—Johns Hopkins Howard County Medical Center, Sibley Memorial Hospital, and Suburban Hospital—focus on caring for members of their local communities by providing comprehensive, cutting-edge clinical care where and when they need it. Nurses at these hospitals actively participate in and lead research studies, help shape the patient experience, and improve standards of practice across their institutions. Each hospital provides a wide range of clinical specialties and has its own areas of excellence. For example, Sibley Memorial Hospital houses the Johns Hopkins Proton Therapy Center, one of the most advanced centers in the world. Sibley also delivers more than 4,000 babies a year, more than any other hospital in Washington, DC. Suburban Hospital is distinguished as a certified stroke center and level II trauma center, and maintains 24-hour stroke and rapid-response teams. Howard County Medical Center houses a state-designated level III+ neonatal intensive care unit, a special center focused on the diagnosis and treatment of nonhealing wounds (the Center for Wound Healing), and a Community Care Team that works with patients and families to ensure a smooth hospital-to-home transition.

There are also opportunities for nurses to provide care at one of Johns Hopkins’ many outpatient care locations—including six health care and surgery centers, seven ambulatory surgery centers, and more than 50 Johns Hopkins Community Physicians locations—or in patients’ homes as members of the Johns Hopkins Care at Home team. Home care nurses have the unique role of delivering specialized, at-home treatment and education to support patients’ health, independence, and quality of life. Caring for adult and pediatric patients, often with multiple, complex conditions, these nurses provide individualized care to help prevent hospitalizations and promote patients’ recovery and healing at home.

These are just a small sampling of the many incredible and unique specialties and career paths available to Johns Hopkins nurses. Whether you want to work with children, in an outpatient setting, as a home care nurse, or treating some of the most rare and challenging medical conditions, Johns Hopkins has a place for you.

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