Sanford clinical care leader sees patient point of view

ICU charge nurse learns from spending time as a patient in her own unit

Sanford nurse in scrubs and face mask uses a fingerprint scanner to open a medicine cabinet.

Hayden Yeradi is a clinical care leader for Sanford Health who recently spent time in her own unit fighting her own illness. She was on a ventilator for 13 days.

She can now say with confidence that she’s seen both sides of health care and it has made her a better nurse.

“It drastically impacted my nursing practice and gave me a completely different scope through which I see and give care to my patients,” Yeradi said. ”This has allowed me to have a more refined view of empathy and the way I support my patients in their most vulnerable moments.”

Empathy has always been part of Yeradi’s three years as a nurse but the difficult stay in her own critical care unit kicked it up a notch. The same could be said for her energy and enthusiasm. And she already brought a lot of that to work every day.

“ICU patients may be extremely sick and fighting for their lives,” she said. “We help them through those moments. We fight alongside them so that days or weeks later we can celebrate with them when we’re wheeling them off the unit and on to the general floors. It is the best part of my job.”

This Augustana University graduate, who grew up in Wright, Wyoming, waffled some on a career choice in college. But when it was time to zero-in on her future she knew what she wanted.

“I knew when I applied for nursing school, I wanted to work in the ICU at Sanford,” Yeradi said. “I had always sought to work in a place that was striving for innovation.”

ICU is nurse’s ‘dream job’

She applied and got a job at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It has turned into the right decision for Sanford Health and for Yeradi.

“I love, love, love working in the ICU,” she said. “It’s been my dream job and I’m extremely grateful I’ve been able to do it for three years now.”

That kind of enthusiasm for a career will often manifest itself in seeking out added responsibility. In Yeradi’s case, it happened quickly. She’s now a charge nurse in her ICU.

In Yeradi’s words, that distinction adds “a whole new piece” to nursing.

“Not only are you expected to be knowledgeable and able to take care of critically ill patients, but you’re also working with staff members and physicians and families,” she said. “I’m no longer the person who says, ‘Oh, wait, let me go get my charge nurse for you to talk to.’ Now I’m the person they want to talk to.”

She’s not just a nurse for patients as a clinical care leader. She’s also looking out for colleagues.

“My favorite part of being a charge nurse is that it’s really brought me closer to the people I get to work with,” Yeradi said. “You see people from a whole different perspective. You’re now the person who they come to with their challenges.”

It helps that Yeradi has respect for the job and how her colleagues go about doing it. When someone has a tough day at work, they can come to her. A keen appreciation for the profession fuels that commitment.

“When you come into the nursing profession – or probably just about any profession – you think you have to know everything,” Yeradi said. “I think the biggest saving grace in my career is when I figured out no one expects me to know everything. I know I have some incredible people as teammates and if I don’t know something, they’ll be able to help me. Nursing, when you think about, is the definition of team. I’m thankful I’m part of such a great one.”

Learn more

Posted In Nursing and Nursing Support, People & Culture, Sanford Stories

Leave A Reply