Tag Archives: healthcare staffing

NP Week 2017—Locum Tenens Provider Spotlight on Ade Ogunmokun

November 12-18 is National Nurse Practitioner Week, designated to recognize the contributions of nurse practitioners across the United States. This year, we are highlighting Ade Ogunmokun, one of Consilium’s partnering locum tenens psychiatric nurse practitioners.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and use the hashtag #ThankAnNP to highlight a nurse practitioner who has made a difference in your life.

At the beginning of Ade Ogunmokun’s career, she was working as a certified nursing assistant but was uncertain about her long-term plans. It was the guidance of other nursing professionals at each new step of her career—coupled with a natural curiosity and true empathy for her patients—that eventually led her to earn an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and finally, her master’s and a license as a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner (PNP).

“When I first got into nursing, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career down the road,” Ogunmokun said.  “I started as a nursing assistant, which also is when I was first introduced to the world of long-term inpatient psychiatry. When I met medication aides at work, I was really intrigued by the job so I asked a lot of questions. Soon after that, I decided to go back to school and become a medication aide myself.”

It was through her work as a medication aide, Ogunmokun said, that piqued her interest in medication management. She briefly considered a career in pharmacy, but given her previous experience, she was positive that she was most passionate about psychiatry. She returned to school to complete the training to become an LPN and then an RN, and by then, she said her mind was set on advancing through the profession.

“I ended up moving into a setting that was inpatient but with more temporary stays, so patients were released back into the community in a very short timeframe,” Ogunmokun said. “I really became concerned about how these patients were going to function by themselves back out in society, and I wondered what I could do to better assist people in similar situations.”

While at that facility, Ogunmokun began feeling that while there was much she wanted to do to help her patients, she was limited by the fact that she was not allowed to prescribe medicine. It was then that she began working alongside several psychiatric nurse practitioners.

“I actually had no idea who they were,” Ogunmokun said. “I assumed they were doctors because they could prescribe medicine, but they ended up teaching me a lot about the process and benefits of becoming a nurse practitioner. It really got me thinking once I learned that they too were in the nursing profession—I had been frustrated for a while about barriers to helping my patients as much as I wanted. It became clear to me that I could overcome those obstructions as an NP, so I went back to school yet again.”

Fact: Nurse practitioners can prescribe medicine, including controlled substances, in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

In addition to prescriptive privileges, the NP profession appealed to Ogunmokun because nurse practitioners care for the “whole patient.” Alongside prescribing medicine and dispensing medical advice, NPs focus on the provision of health and wellness education and culturally competent care.

“It was during my first assignment with Consilium that I really began to understand the impact you can have as a nurse practitioner,” Ogunmokun said. “I had never worked in an outpatient setting before, but they gave me the opportunity to try it. It is so gratifying for me to help patients improve to the point that they begin thriving in personal and professional settings.”

Ogunmokun, who has worked with Consilium for three years, recounts the story of a patient she treated on assignment who was going through an incredibly rough patch in his life.

“That gentleman was dealing with all sorts of huge life issues simultaneously,” Ogunmokun said. “He had lost his wife, a number of his other relatives died within the same timeframe, he was completely unable to sleep at night, and he was struggling not to lose his house. It was incredibly rewarding when he returned a month later and I saw that my choice of medications was the right combination for him. He was sleeping better, feeling better overall despite the circumstances, and he was starting to move forward again. That was big for me.”

Ogunmokun, something of a world traveler, chooses to work locum tenens in large part because of the control she can maintain over her schedule.

“I really enjoy traveling, and I want to have the option to, say, visit the United Kingdom for six weeks if I want to,”Ogunmokun said. “In a regular job that’s virtually impossible, but locum tenens makes it so easy, and Consilium truly understands the concept of locums. They aren’t like some agencies that will ask where you’re going or why you need to be off—they really give you the freedom and flexibility to work as you choose.”

In the interest of paying forward some of the wisdom she received as an aspiring NP, Ogunmokun offers guidance to nurse practitioners who are not yet sure what type of work arrangement they should choose.

“If I were to advise an NP who was considering doing locum tenens, I would say to just maintain an open mind and give it a try,” Ogunmokun said. “Locums is a great way to experience new practice settings and you can generally stay for as long as you would like. The biggest thing is that with Consilium, you know you will be taken care of. It makes all the difference to work with someone who is an outspoken advocate for you and your needs—I feel like I have that in Cullen and Shadley, my recruiter and account manager.”

Interested in putting your medical expertise to work with Consilium, or in finding quality medical providers to cover shifts at your facility?

Locum Tenens Provider Spotlight: Success in Medicine Against All Odds

In her work with Consilium, Denise Willis currently sees patients at a correctional facility in Virginia. Throughout her career, she also has provided care in settings that include rural health, family medicine, urgent care, occupational medicine, internal medicine, geriatrics, behavioral health, and pharmacy.

If you were to enumerate the challenges on the path to becoming a pharmacist, academic lecturer, and physician assistant, chances are that list would not include half the obstacles faced by Denise Willis, Consilium physician assistant and poster child for persistence and determination.

“I never thought I would make it this far, to be quite honest,” Willis said. “I always wanted to succeed, and I was willing to do whatever that required, but there were many times it seemed impossible despite my dedication. Sometimes I still can’t believe I made it through.”

Willis, who was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said she had been captivated by the study of medicine from the time she was a young girl. Some of her earliest memories consist of walking down to the corner drugstore with her father, where a pharmacist everyone called “Doc” would let her come behind the counter and try pronouncing the names of the medications in stock.

“As a child, I read everything I could get my hands on,” Willis said. “My mother used to laugh at me for it, because it didn’t matter if it was the back of a bottle of detergent—I was going to read it. Afterward, I would write down the names of the ingredients and try to figure out what each one was and what it did.”

Though the earliest years of her childhood were marked by some degree of normalcy, that had changed in a big way by the time she turned 7. Her parents split up and her mother fell very ill, leaving a very young Willis with the responsibility of caring for her younger siblings. When she was 12 years old, her mother succumbed to her drawn-out illness—which turned out to be cancer—and Willis was placed in the foster care system.

“It was difficult, and I do think my childhood experiences have a lot to do with my chosen career path,” Willis said. “I had that innate curiosity and passion for medicine, yes, but I also saw up close what it means to have—or not have—adequate medical care. My youngest brother had a lot of health problems too, and those sorts of experiences just stick with you for the rest of your life.”

Despite her circumstances, Willis—determined to succeed—excelled in school. She completed college and then attended the Temple University School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia, where she was able to follow in the footsteps of “Doc,” who had first sparked her interest in pharmacy all those years ago. Bringing full circle those formative walks down to Doc’s clinic, as a young adult Willis also reconnected with her father, who revealed that Willis had a number of relatives whom she had neither met nor heard of as a child. Willis and her husband—who were already considering a move further south—met the long-lost Virginia branch of her family and soon decided that was exactly where they wanted to be for the foreseeable future.

“It’s crazy thinking about it now, but I truly didn’t have a reliable support system until I got married to my husband,” Willis said. “Having my father back in my life has made such a difference, and it has been just wonderful to suddenly have family by my side.”

Willis moved to Virginia in 1989, and since then has worked as a pharmacist, pharmacy supervisor, in-house department educator, preceptor for pharmacy and pharmacy tech students, and as a lecturer at the junior college and university levels.

“I even had my own pharmacy for a while back in the ‘90s, which had always been a dream of mine,” Willis said. “It only lasted a few years—up until a chain pharmacy opened right across from us—but I am proud that I was able to achieve that goal even if it wasn’t in the cards long-term.”

By the late ‘90s, Willis had decided that she was just not passionate about pharmacy the way she had been before—she wanted the opportunity to better connect with patients and have a direct hand in their care. To best achieve her ideal patient-provider relationship, she set her sights on becoming a physician assistant. She enrolled in the Master of Physician Assistant (MPA) Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School, a program that aligned with her belief in providing inclusive, patient-centered care and fostering strong clinical and community partnerships.

When asked about her most memorable moment as a PA, Willis said there is one patient in particular who she could never forget. He was working as a custodian, and upon their meeting it was visibly clear to her that something was very, very wrong.

“This gentleman had severe, severe jaundice, and it was obvious even with his dark complexion,” Willis said. “His eyes, lips, fingertips, overall hue…all of it was just ‘off.’ I asked him to please, please see a doctor as soon as possible.”

Instead, the man came to see Willis, who he trusted would help him get the care he needed. He said he had seen a physician several months prior who—despite clear lab results—had not provided any answers or assistance. The patient’s gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)—a chemical that might normally be around 60 units per liter (U/L)—was measured at more than 2,000 U/L. Lo and behold, further testing soon determined that the man had cancer.

“I could not believe that it took so long for him to receive treatment,” Willis said. “But because he agreed to come in, he lived much longer than he would have otherwise. I actually discovered that one day several years later when he recognized me at a local grocery store and ran up to thank me. He looked just wonderful, and I’ll never forget the stark difference compared to the first time I saw him.”

Given her vast experience in an array of clinical settings, Willis had been familiar with locum tenens for a number of years, even working an agency assignment as a pharmacist at a Minnesota Indian Health Services facility. Despite positive prior experiences in temporary pharmacy assignments, she was initially wary of taking on locum tenens assignments as a physician assistant.

“If I had to give one piece of advice to other providers who are on the fence about doing locums, I would say to just try it,” Willis said. “It’s not a permanent move if you don’t want it to be, so why not? I hesitated at first because I didn’t know what the experience would be like as a PA—I wish I had made this leap much earlier.”

Despite her lifelong love for learning (and resulting tendency to eagerly take on new opportunities), Willis says she is at a point in her life where she would like to “slow down a little bit,” which is part of why she appreciates the ability to set her own schedule. Willis has partnered with Consilium since 2014, and she specifies flexibility and her working relationship with Landon Webb, her account manager, as reasons she plans to stay with Consilium long-term.

“I stay with Consilium not only because I believe in the company mission, but also because I have truly been enriched by my interactions with everyone I have spoken to,” Willis said. “I know I can always call Landon with anything I might need (even after-hours!), and that’s a huge comfort. It’s just easy with Consilium, and I will never forget the care they showed me after my accident this year.”

In June of 2017, just before starting another assignment with Consilium, Willis had been in a car wreck that resulted in a severe concussion and left her unable to work for nearly two months. She cites the care shown by Consilium team members as a source of support during a very difficult time, serving as further confirmation that she is exactly where she was meant to be.

“They never pressured me to come back before I was ready, and I knew that their concern was for me as a person, not just as a provider,” Willis said. “They worried about me, they called to check on me, and they prayed for me. All of that really meant something to me. When I was ready to work, I called Landon and told him it was time to give it a try, and we jumped right back in where we had left off. My work begins with patient care, and I truly believe that at Consilium, they start with care for their providers. I plan to stay with Consilium for a long, long time.”

Interested in putting your medical expertise to work with Consilium, or in finding quality medical providers to cover shifts at your facility?

More from Consilium’s partnering locum tenens providers:

What it’s Like to Work at Consilium Staffing: The Proof is in the Pizza

If there’s anything we advocate in our approach to company culture, it’s the concept of “work hard, play hard.” Here’s how it looked to be part of the Consilium team in Q3 2017:

Fourth of July

 

 

 

Each year, we celebrate the Fourth of July with a company potluck (with barbecue provided by Consilium) and informal patriotic attire, during which time we all look a bit like Captain America for the day.

Representing Consilium From California to Louisiana

We had quite the number of jet-setters this summer: during Q3, we sent representatives to San Diego, San Antonio, and New Orleans to represent Consilium at annual conventions that included the NACHC Community Health Institute, Psych Congress, and AAFP Family Medicine Experience.

(Even better, we acquired this stunning portrait of Vice President of National Accounts Hamilton Doty and Regional Vice President of Client Sales Billy Bowden. This might just end up on our Christmas cards.)

Q3 WIN Celebrations

Consilium holds a monthly WIN meeting to recognize individual, team, and company milestones, of which there were many this quarter!

Congratulations to our nine team members who earned promotions in Q3:

  • Amber Adkins— Senior Recruiting Consultant, Primary Care North
  • Brandy Cook—Senior Client Consultant, Primary Care Southwest
  • Shadley Hawkins—Director of Account Management, Behavioral Health South
  • Charlotte Kirkpatrick—Senior Corporate Recruiter
  • Kade Massingill—Senior Client Consultant, Behavioral Health South
  • Courtney Pryor—Corporate Recruiter
  • Keeley Puicon—Senior Recruiting Consultant, Behavioral Health South
  • Allie Purnell—Senior Account Manager, Primary Care Midwest
  • Ryan Saunders—IT Support Technician

Kicking Labor Day Weekend Off Right

After a record-breaking month in August, company partners announced a surprise early release on Friday, September 1st, to jump-start the Labor Day weekend. To keep productivity—and towers of empty pizza boxes—high, we also were treated to a company-wide pizza party for lunch on Thursday afternoon (rumors abound of team eating contests, but our lips are sealed).

Business Casual Attire—What NOT to Do

We embrace a business casual dress code at Consilium. In a nutshell, that means sharp enough to present as professionals and casual enough that we don’t feel like we’re attending an 8-5 Easter Sunday service. On Fridays, however, we get to wear jeans—just make sure not to emulate director of recruiting Ricky “Two-Shoes” Moses:

National Locum Tenens Week

August 14-18, 2017, marked the first ever National Locum Tenens Week, which recognizes the contributions of temporary healthcare providers across the nation. For our participation in the event, we took to the streets of downtown Dallas to interview passerby on their knowledge of locum tenens.

Locum Tenens Week, Day 1: What IS Locum Tenens, Anyway?

Never heard of locum tenens? You aren’t alone!

Locum Tenens Week, Day 3: “Wait, What Did You Say?”

It’s “locum tenens” as you’ve never heard it before (seriously, they pulled out all the phonetic stops).

Locum Tenens Week, Day 5: The Future of Locum Tenens

(Disclaimer: contrary to what our entertaining volunteer Grant thinks, locum tenens has absolutely nothing to do with alcoholic beverages.)

Women in Leadership

Consilium embraces a company commitment to invest in the personal and professional growth of each team member. In Q3, that included a presentation by founding partner and regional vice president Amy Gentile, who spoke on her journey to Consilium, some of the realities of being a woman in business, and how the company helps support Consilium women as they seek to advance in their careers.

Consilium Cares

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which caused unprecedented destruction right down I-45, Consilium Cares was able to gather four large boxes (plus one small box stuffed full of baby supplies) of donation items from Consilium team members. A huge “thank you” goes out to everyone who pitched in to help, on behalf of your Consilium Cares team!

Pictured: some of the donations collected by Consilium Cares on Day Two of our drive, including baby diapers, dog and cat food, non-perishable food items, and socks for children and adults

Consilium in the News

Physicians Practice

Congratulations to Dr. Days, one of our family medicine physicians, whose advice was featured in this Physicians Practice piece on part-time opportunities in medicine.

VoyageDallas Magazine

Want to learn more about the Consilium story? Check out our interview in VoyageDallas Magazine, which features founding partner and EVP Matt Baade on his own journey to Consilium.

 

Interested in joining our team? Check out our current career opportunities

Family Medicine Practitioners as Everyday Humanitarians

A message from John Moberly, partner and regional vice president at Consilium Staffing:

As our team geared up to head to San Antonio for the Family Medicine Experience (FMX), it was impossible not to think upon the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey throughout South Texas so recently. As a Texas resident myself, I cannot exaggerate the impact of this disaster, which has directly affected the family and friends of so many people in my office.

What has really struck me during this time is the eagerness of so many healthcare providers to help, whenever and wherever they may be needed. Consilium has had dozens of physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners—many of whom do not even work on a locum tenens basis—nevertheless offer to take time off from their full-time jobs to provide care for the victims of this tragedy. We spoke to professionals from across the specialty spectrum who were moved to provide assistance, with about half of those offers coming from family medicine practitioners.

For me, that just speaks to the character of healthcare providers as people. I have such respect for the selflessness that your profession requires, and I am beyond grateful for the spirit of those who have chosen to dedicate their life to serving others, regardless of the sacrifices required.

I do a lot of work within the primary care sphere and I cannot say enough about the impact that family medicine physicians make on communities and the well-being of the people therein. Some of the most moving discussions I have had with providers give testament to this fact. A physician told me once, “You know John, I am three generations into my practice,” and I honestly cannot think of a higher compliment than being entrusted to provide care for entire families, from newborns to aging grandparents. That speaks volumes on who my partnering physicians are, as professionals and as people.

I view my mission, and the Consilium mission, as an extension of yours: together, we can help provide care to patients who otherwise would not be able to receive care in their community. When I connect a locum tenens physician with a healthcare facility that has been searching for a doctor for so long, I feel like I’m making a real difference, like I am truly working for the greater good.

In the hustle and bustle of healthcare law, ever-changing regulations, and (seemingly never-ending) congressional debates, I know that it can be easy for people to lose sight of what it is that physicians really do every day. But if you are attending FMX, even if you aren’t interested in working locum tenens, I urge you to at least come by Booth #1565 and meet our team—if nothing else, we’d love the opportunity to thank you.

John Moberly
Partner, Regional Vice President
Consilium Staffing

If you are a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner interested in working locum tenens, or in adding your name to the list of those willing to help in areas affected by the hurricanes, get in touch with Jason Smith, regional vice president of account management:

Consilium Staffing Welcomes Sami Alford as Director of Account Management for Government Services – Locum Tenens

October 30, 2014 – Consilium Staffing, Your Partner in Locum Tenens, has
announced that Sami Alford has joined the Irving, Texas-based healthcare staffing firm. Alford recently accepted a role in Government Services as Director of Account Management.

“I am very excited to finally have the opportunity to work at Consilium Staffing,” said Alford. “As a veteran’s wife I am thrilled to be able to assist our veterans and active military in any way that I can.”

Alford brings to Consilium more than 12 years of experience in healthcare staffing, including executive leadership positions and expertise within behavioral health, urgent care, hospitalist, and advanced practice specialties.

“I have known Sami for more than a decade and I am thrilled to have her join the Consilium family,” said Consilium Staffing Executive Vice President Matt Baade. “With her natural leadership ability, tremendous work ethic and unmatched passion for her work, Sami is the perfect person to help grow our Government Services Division.”

Consilium Staffing’s Government Services team works with other businesses across the country to deliver temporary contracted physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to U.S. government and military-run medical facilities, regardless of length of assignment.

About Consilium Staffing
Consilium Staffing is a locum tenens company offering temporary healthcare providers to medical facilities nationwide. For more information on Consilium Staffing please visit Consilium Staffing’s website.

Mike Gianas is the Director of Communications with Consilium Staffing

Carter BloodCare Receives Enough Donations to Help Save 81 Lives from Consilium Staffing’s Consilium Cares Blood Drive

Irving, Texas, October 22, 2014 – Consilium Staffing, Your Partner in Locum Tenens, recently held a blood drive for Carter BloodCare, yielding enough blood to help save 81 lives.

“The blood supply belongs to the community. Carter BloodCare is the steward of the gifts we collect from volunteer donors,” said Michelle Johnson, Vice President for Corporate and Community Resources. “We also appreciate that the company recognizes blood donation as an act of service to one’s community.”

This is the second time that Consilium Staffing has partnered with Carter BloodCare for its employees to donate blood through the firm’s Consilium Cares initiative.

“I’m very proud that such a large number of our employees donated to this cause,” said Matt Baade, Executive Vice President of Consilium Staffing. “We know Carter BloodCare is the supplier for many of our local hospitals and clinics, and that provides us the opportunity to give back to the community which we serve.”

Carter BloodCare needs to see 1100 donors a day to maintain a safe and sufficient blood supply for North, Central and East Texas. At any time, only 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, with less than four percent actually giving.

About Carter BloodCare
Carter BloodCare is a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) organization that operates on behalf of patients in 50-plus Texas counties. With volunteer blood donors, Carter BloodCare is the primary provider of blood and transfusion services to more than 150 hospitals and healthcare facilities in North, Central and East Texas. The blood center is licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, accredited by AABB and is a member of America’s Blood Centers. Visit our website to locate a blood drive or donor center near you.

About Consilium Staffing
Consilium Staffing is a locum tenens company offering temporary healthcare providers to medical facilities nationwide. For more information on Consilium Staffing please visit Consilium Staffing’s website.

About Consilium Cares
Consilium Cares is the dedicated philanthropic initiative of Consilium Staffing, providing an opportunity for employees to serve others and give back to the community in which they live. For more information on Consilium Cares, including media inquiries and to inquire about how Consilium Staffing might support the efforts of your charitable organization, please contact Mike Gianas, Director of Communications, listed below.

Mike Gianas is the Director of Communications with Consilium Staffing