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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

She's Gone from Baltimore to Florida - Johns Hopkins All the Way!

Recently I had an opportunity to sit down with Melissa Macogay, RN, who is the Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Surgical Neuroscience unit here at All Children's Hospital. Her story is unique, in that not only is she responsible for one of the most complex pediatric units in the hospital, but she spent seven years in Baltimore at the Johns Hopkins Hospital as a staff nurse in PICU before joining All Children's.
 
We discussed a variety of issues ranging from the huge emphasis she places on finding the right team to how that team thrives in the fast-paced PICU environment.

I asked Melissa about the natural stress level that undoubtedly comes with working in a critical care unit which she quickly acknowledged. "The PICU is forever changing, one day you have to care for a child with a neurological condition, and the next day you have a complex trauma patient. You never know what is coming next, which is what we thrive on here. It's non-stop."

This naturally brings up the challenge of finding the right people to work in such a hectic environment but Melissa just smiled and explained her philosophy. "I specifically hire professionals who embrace a true team environment. We know that when we look to our right and look to our left we have colleagues who have made a personal choice to work with our kids. We back each other up no matter what. Yes, we have some of the most advanced technology in the world here, but we have also built a team that is dedicated to the children and each other."

The ability to think critically is an essential part of being a member of our PICU team. Melissa explains it this way, "Lives are at stake, so the ability to think through your options quickly and effectively is a priority. Plus, the rewards of providing this level of care are truly amazing."
 
As I mentioned, Melissa worked in the PICU at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for seven years. "I left an organization that has so much pride and I wasn't sure if I could find that again. Florida was my destination, but the options to work in pediatric critical care are extremely limited here. When I interviewed at All Children's, I knew that I had found exactly what I was looking for."


Melissa is an excellent example of the type of leadership team we have here on the "South Campus" of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Feel free to reach out to her, or any member of our team to learn more.

-Jay


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