06 May Outdoor recreation brings Olivia Ford, RN, to Olympic Peninsula and diverse nursing role at OMC
Two years ago, Olivia Ford, RN, had never been to the Olympic Peninsula. Not long later, she and her family – drawn by the outdoor recreational opportunities – decided to move to the Olympic Peninsula from Twin Falls, Idaho.
Ford joined Olympic Medical Center as medical office nurse coordinator in the OMP Orthopaedic Clinic and is glad that she and her family made the leap of moving to somewhere they had never been.
“OMC has been the best employer I’ve ever had for my family,” Ford said. “I have never had a position where I feel like my family and my personal life is valued to this extent.”
OMC has been the best employer I’ve ever had for my family. - Olivia Ford, RN
Born and raised in Idaho, Ford first heard of Port Angeles about four years and had wanted to move here ever since. She convinced her husband, who grew up in Alaska, that the combination of mountains and ocean on the Olympic Peninsula would be a recreational paradise.
“The area has been amazing for my family,” Ford said. “We are outdoors every weekend. We’re hiking, boating, crabbing, fishing, doing all the things that we always wanted to do. It’s pretty special to be able to live in a place like this, raise my family and work for an employer that values them.”
Ford’s first job after high school was as a CNA for a nursing home in Idaho, where she had an experience that motivated her to become a nurse. While checking on a patient, she discovered that the patient has passed away alone.
“I never wanted a patient to be alone while at the end of life or at any point in their healthcare journey,” Ford said.
Ford went on to earn her nursing degree from the College of Southern Idaho and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lewis- Clark State College.
Throughout her education process, Ford says her family, as well as her desire to be there for patients in their time of need were her inspirations to keep moving forward.
“The motivation to continue was essentially just to help people,” Ford said. “I wanted to make that difference.”
As the medical office nurse coordinator for OMP Orthopaedic Clinic, Ford has a variety of responsibilities, ranging from direct patient care to administration.
Ford coordinates with the on-call surgeon in orthopaedics to triage referrals from the Emergency Department, walk-in clinics and primary care clinics. She reviews the patient’s chart, their X-ray and injury to help determine when the patient should be seen. Ford assists in the operating room as needed, as well as platelet-rich plasma injections and trigger finger releases in clinic.
“Being a nurse is rewarding in the sense that you can truly make a difference at any point in someone’s day,” Ford said. “Kindness goes a long way.”
Ford’s varied role underscores the many different types of work that nurses accomplish across OMC.
It’s pretty special to be able to live in a place like this, raise my family and work for an employer that values them. - Olivia Ford, RN
“Nurses, at times, are expected to perform roles that may be considered that of a social worker, physical therapist, or manager,” Ford said. “Nurses are everywhere. They are in patients’ homes, taking care of people with acute and chronic illnesses, post-operative management, and those who are actively dying. They take care of children in schools, kidney patients in dialysis, wounds in the wound clinic. Some are even managers whose role is spent in an office.”
At Olympic Medical Center, nurses fill a variety of roles, ranging from clinical education and direct patient care to administration and home health to quality support services and employee health, to name a few. The commonality among all nurses, regardless of their department, is a collective focus to deliver the highest quality care to the patient.
“The most rewarding thing about my job is the fact that I can make a difference in multiple peoples’ days simply by just doing my job,” Ford said.