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Gastroenterology On the Job: Why I Like What I Do

For the past four years Dawn Christiansen, RN, has been the Director of the Granite Peaks Endoscopy Center where she cares for dozens of patients each day who come in for gastrointestinal procedures, many of them involving colonoscopies.

What’s your role?
About 20 percent of my time is administrative work but the other 80 percent is clinical, which is why I’m here. Taking care of patients is what I love most about my job.

What is the best part of your job?
The people, not only the patients but the people I work with here—we’re like a family. With my patients, I like being able to comfort them and help put their minds at ease; many of them come in anxious and unsure about the procedures. My goal is to make their experience as pleasant as possible using my nursing skills as well as reassuring them. I like seeing the transformation of our patients from when they come in dreading the procedure and leave feeling like they are your best friend.

How do you know you are doing a good job?
On a daily basis patients tell me, “I didn’t want to be here but you made it the best it could absolutely be.” Our patient satisfaction survey rates our care 90 percent and above and the staff here is super experienced working together; our turn over is pretty much zero.”

What should every patient know when they come in here?
That we always put the patient first and our goal is to help them have the best experience possible. We also emphasize efficiency; we know the patients come in hungry and nervous and we don’t want them to have to wait. Patients need to know that it is not as bad as they think it is going to be; once they enter our doors, it is as smooth as silk.