As part of our Nurses Week celebration, we want to introduce you to our newest nurse, Lauren Guzman. Lauren is our Clinical Supervisor working with our Manager of Nursing, Terry Ritter, to manage our CNAs (Certified Nurse Aides) and support our nursing services. She’s also coordinating our Foot Clinics, which are coming back after a year of hiatus this spring!
For nine years, Lauren has worked as a nurse in long-term care and rehabilitation and also as a contracted nurse for interim assignments where facilities or agencies need help. She joins us most recently from Life Care Center of Evergreen where she was a floor nurse, staff development coordinator, and weekend supervisor. “While at Life Care, I met members of the Mount Evans team who partner to provide hospice care. It was the caring attitudes I saw from everyone that worked at Mount Evans and how much they loved what they do that made me think, this is somewhere I want to work,” Lauren explains. “So when I heard there was an opportunity for a clinical supervisor, I stuck my foot in…and here I am!”
Lauren was raised by her grandparents who both played an integral part in her becoming a nurse. Her grandmother was a nurse in long-term care, both as a CNA and an RN (Registered Nurse). Lauren recalls, “As a kid growing up, she use to drag me in to all the nursing homes she worked at about twice a month to make me jazz, tap dance, and play the piano. I was their entertainment for the day. I’ve always been around elderly people and always loved them.”
In 2003 her grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. “I was living in North Carolina at the time, and my grandmother needed help, so I moved back home to help them out,” she explains. “He was too embarrassed to let anybody from outside take care of him, but he was more embarrassed for me.” Her grandfather was a Navy Corpsman, so also had a medical background. Lauren continues, “He realized that caregiving was in my blood as well and pointed it out right before he passed away. And then, of course, how could I not follow-through with that. It took a while, but I finally realized it too.”
Lauren’s nursing career began as a CNA, and she is currently an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse), but her end goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner, and she fits in a course or two every semester as she can. “LPNs are an integral piece of the nursing team, and while we can’t do as much as RNs, we can do a lot to assist them. We can’t start care, but we can manage care and I think that a lot of that management of care is where LPNs really shine – because that’s our portion.”
Lauren is already becoming an integral team member and getting to see the heart of Mount Evans and what a privilege it is to serve our mountain community. She observes, “It’s very cool. Everybody knows Mount Evans and knows people from here. It’s a special thing as everyone knows this is the go to for the home health and hospice care in the area, and it’s the best. And it’s cool to work at the best, you know you’ve gotten to the top and that’s awesome.” Lauren concludes, “I’ve always been proud to be a nurse and have loved patient care, but here it has always been positive, the comments are great, it’s always uplifting when I talk about the work we do here.”