Emergency rooms are known for their high pressure and unpredictability. While some might not enjoy that sort of work environment, Cassidy McClure thrives in it.
“I work the night shift, and no two nights are alike. ER nurses are masters of adaptability, carefully but quickly switching from one type of patient to the next. I enjoy the fast pace, I love that we’re always learning and most of all, I appreciate my amazing co-workers,” says Cassidy.
Her career in the Sharp Grossmont emergency department began when she was working as a tech while going to school to become a nurse.
“It was challenging working and going to school full time, but I felt that the hands-on experience I got at work really supplemented my classroom education,” she recalls.
As a lifelong resident of East San Diego County, Cassidy hoped she would be able to continue working at the hospital once she earned her degree — and in 2016, she did just that.
“The volume, variety and acuity of patients we see every day is a challenge. It can be very rewarding to serve this community,” says Cassidy.
She has worked her way up to becoming an advanced clinician and has nearly completed her master’s degree in education. As an advanced clinician, she manages the education and professional development of her teammates.
“Before I found my passion for health care, I thought I would go to school to become a teacher. Now I have found a way to incorporate both of these interests,” Cassidy says.
Those who know and work with Cassidy will probably tell you that she is an ambitious and highly involved leader. She strives to make others feel comfortable asking questions and coming to her with new ideas.
In addition to her duties as an advanced clinician, Cassidy volunteers on several hospital committees. She serves on the Highly Infectious Diseases Committee and is one of the founding members of the Disaster Response Committee.
“I’m really proud to be a part of these teams, especially the Disaster Response team. We started that from scratch and we have made huge strides to create a comprehensive disaster plan,” she explains.
Her experience on these teams prepared her for her newest endeavor: becoming one of the emergency department’s first COVID-19 nurses. When the pandemic began, Cassidy stepped up to help not only the patients, but also her fellow health care workers face the unknown.
“Especially in the beginning, there was so much we didn’t know about the virus and how it spread. I felt it was important to have a dedicated person who others could approach with questions and concerns,” explains Cassidy.
When she is not at work treating patients and supporting her teammates, or working on her master’s courses, Cassidy recharges by reading and spending quality time with her family.
Though the contact emergency room nurses have with patients is often brief and sometimes thankless, she says, “When you have that one patient or family that states their gratitude, it reminds you of the impact you have on each patient. Knowing I am helping others is what keeps me going.”