My Baystate Story: Denise Salmon-Shand, RN Baystate Franklin Medical Center

Denise Salmon

My name is Denise Salmon-Shand, RN, BSN. In February of 2020, I was recruited as an international nurse in the Mental Health Unit at Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC).

At the time of my hire, it did not resonate that like the pandemic, my employment would give birth to a historic first at Baystate Franklin – the first international travel nurse to be assigned to this hospital – a legacy I will cherish for a lifetime. Baystate Franklin Medical Center was referred to me by my employment agency. Later, Baystate Franklin chose me to make a difference in the lives of my patients, as well as enhance my personal and professional development, in another position as an operating room nurse.

Being a registered nurse means achieving self-actualization. Being an operating room nurse means living my dream, walking in my purpose, fulfilling my calling. It gives me the opportunity to present the best version of myself while utilizing the steps of the nursing process to effectively care for my patients.

My desire to pursue a career in nursing developed during my early teenage years. My passion for operating room nursing developed at age eighteen during my first job position as a graphic designer at a funeral home. While assisting in other departments including the morgue, I quickly became fascinated with the anatomy of the human body. I knew then what I wanted my future specialized nursing career to be.

Baystate Health gives me the opportunity to build on the foundation of my dreams, in an atmosphere of dedicated, enthusiastic, meticulous, and supportive professionals. Equipped with the latest in medical technology, Baystate Franklin is also a teaching hospital with several areas of specialties. Throughout my journey in the mental health unit, I had the opportunity to realize one of my short-term goals, certification in the Peri-op 101 Program. That equipped me with the required knowledge to fully function as an operating room nurse. My unit manager, Lorene Zammuto, and Mary Taggart in scheduling, worked with me to adjust my schedule to ensure I was meeting my required contracted hours weekly in the mental health unit while completing my practicum hours in the operating room.

The amazing team in the surgical services department here at BFMC facilitated those practicum hours. I was particularly impressed with the exemplary staff as they took the time to engage me with hands-on experience while observing for my practicum assignment. I’m so impressed with their collaborative approach to patient care that I have accepted a permanent position with Baystate and transitioned into the Surgical Services department.

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