GIFTED Healthcare loves nurses. We love supporting their work and hearing their stories. Today, the GIFTED Nurse Spotlight shines on Jill Maxwell, a Long Term Acute Care (LTAC) nurse and all-star GIFTED RN.
Jill has traveled with GIFTED for over a decade, providing exceptional care for countless patients during her inspiring journey as a clinician. She has long been known to GIFTED recruiters as an excellent LTAC clinician, and we were thrilled to get the opportunity to interview her.
She spoke to us about the ins and outs of LTAC nursing – its heartwarming benefits, unique learning experiences, and everything in between.
Read on to learn about Jill’s LTAC adventure with GIFTED and the unique nature of LTAC work.
Jill Maxwell has over 20 years of nursing experience, including Research & Development, ICU, MedSurg, and Cardiac among others. She took her first LTAC nursing job in 2006, learning the ropes at a facility in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
Jill’s husband is also a GIFTED travel nurse with an impressive 34 years of nursing experience. They often travel together, occasionally bringing their two children along for the adventure. “Our children get to experience the travel life with us, and they love it,” she says in a charming Southern drawl.
What Makes LTAC Nursing Unique?
Jill finds LTAC nursing to be particularly unique and engaging. When asked about her experience in LTAC facilities, she lists patient diversity and length of stay as the two things that set it apart.
“It’s very diverse,” she says. “You see patients from every critical standpoint. Some are at the end of their hospital stays, some are receiving wound care or ventilation treatment, others are on dialysis – you see everything in LTAC.”
Jill also emphasizes the close bonds formed between LTAC nurses and their patients’ families.
“Families of patients from 5 or 6 years ago still check in with us on the holidays,” Jill says. “Nobody is discharged from an LTAC facility in two days – these patients are there for weeks, even months. Sometimes LTAC nurses get to know their patients’ families very well.”
LTAC nurses guide patients through long term treatment plans that occasionally yield breathtaking results. Jill says that observing successful patient outcomes is the most rewarding part of the job.
“I’ve had patients who, when they arrived, couldn’t move or speak. But one day, they say ‘Hello, Jill,” she chuckles. “And I’ve seen people with serious breathing illnesses come off ventilators after being dependent on them for a very long time.”
While these kinds of transformations are uncommon, they are vivid examples of the satisfaction and sense of purpose nurses can find in LTAC work.
Patients’ Families & the LTAC Setting
During our discussion, Jill points out that stunning patient outcomes do not happen on their own. The wide range of patient acuity level found in LTAC facilities creates a clinical setting in which LTAC nurses must always be adaptable and alert. They must navigate a high-pressure environment, both clinically and emotionally, on a daily basis.
“You need to know your patients,” she says sternly. “You have to be on your toes. Things can change very quickly.”
In fact, when it comes to the high emotional stakes of critical care, Jill has first-hand experience with both sides of the nurse-patient relationship. Her daughter, now in full remission, was once a St. Jude’s cancer patient. This experience has deepened her compassion for families of patients in LTAC.
“I feel like they’re all my patients, even if it’s not my assignment,” she says. “If I see a family that needs comfort or information, I will check on that family.”
The Ideal Nurse
Genuine insight into the qualities of a great nurse can only be gained through experience. When we asked Jill to share her thoughts on this topic, she emphasized one trait far more than anything else: compassion.
After sighing and laughing warmly, Jill says, “I’ve worked all over, and I’ve worked with a lot of nurses. And there a few qualities you’ll find in the best ones. You have to be compassionate, and you have to be approachable.”
“People are sick,” she adds. “They want a smiling face.”
Jill & the GIFTED Family
We are proud to call Jill Maxwell a part of the GIFTED family. Over the course of our discussion we felt like we were in good hands – much like, we imagine, it must feel to be one of her patients.
Jill signed off with a few kind words about GIFTED Healthcare.
“I love GIFTED, and I love my recruiter,” she said. “He always works with me to meet my needs.”
Become an LTAC Nurse with GIFTED Healthcare
Are you a nurse looking for exciting career opportunities and the flexibility to pursue other projects? GIFTED Healthcare provides clinicians with high-paying Travel, Per Diem, LTAC, and Government contracts at premier healthcare facilities across the nation.
Apply now and join the GIFTED Family!