Nurses Spotlight: Ann Schide

We interviewed Ann Schide, MSN, RN, MS, CLNC, LCCE, BSC, an Associate Professor at Chattanooga State Community College. A very committed, caring and innovative nurse, Ann Schide seeks feedback from patients and her nursing students to ensure quality care. Ann looks at life with humor and and passion.

Why did you choose to become a nurse? Truthfully?

I wanted to be a veterinarian, but back in the 1960s Guidance Counselors were not in favor of female vets (What was I supposed to do if a cow tipped over?). My mother repeated since my day of birth, what a great RN I would be…the rest is history. A history I do not regret.

How do you try and create a great patient experience?

There is no try…I do. Before going into a room, I reacquaint myself with the patient’s full name. When I enter, I notice what is going on the room – flowers, cards, visitors, etc. I draw up a chair, place my clipboard on my lap, and introduce myself and plan for that shift. I am sure to create a “nothing needing to be done right away ” attitude. I end with, “What can I do for you now?”

What do you think are some of the most challenging aspects of meeting patients’ needs?

Removing judgment from the room – mine. At times that can be tough, BUT I always have a plausible escape line so I can exit professionally, reconnoiter, and go back in to do my job as I do for any other patient. Sometimes patients catch you off guard.

How would you describe the ideal hospital environment?

Having built a free-standing women’s hospital (mostly OB), I have to say that that setting was perfect for being hospitalized, both as staff and a patient. We built it with the idea of quality care, easy access, patient education, and rapid response.

Who are your career role models and why?

Oh, wow, so many. This one will be unexpected for you: Walter Elias Disney and his Dream has always been my role model. Guest services is as crucial in nursing as it is in Disney World. Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by The Disney Institute and Theodore Kinni is an incredible read. I would recommend it for any fledgling RN. My nursing role model arrived late in my career – Patricia Benner. Dr. Benner is what I wish to be when I grow up – a champion for our profession, one who rids the profession of what I call “appliance” RNs (work for the money), asserts oneself with the uncomfortable and unwanted truths, and IS a change agent!

Why do you love being a nurse?

More than being a nurse, I love being a nurse educator and growing our future RNs. I transitioned to teaching over 15 years ago. The satisfaction that comes from teaching is wonderful. I come to work for those students…no one else. I enjoy being able to respond to critical mass medical moments while others are clueless as to where to begin. I realize this sounds arrogant. However, an executive for Blue Cross Blue Shield educated me to the sense that I speak not from arrogance, but from self-confidence. I believe strongly in this type of advocacy for our health care system and those who need it.