How did your Nursing Journey Begin?
I started with a Bachelor’s degree in general Sciences but could not find a career that I wanted. So I went back to school when I was about 28 year old to get my BSN and then onto my MSN in leadership. I started in L&D, then did some Pre-op/GI, then landed at KU in Clinical Operations assisting with the EMR conversion, and in 2014 I began in my current clinic – Advanced Reproductive Medicine.
How did you transition into this specialty of nursing?
Working in Clinical Operations, I was assigned to assist Ob/Gyn which included the REI clinic. I developed a relationship with the clinic manager who ended up recruiting me to be an IVF coordinator in the clinic. I did not have any specific knowledge of fertility treatments but it intrigued me and at the time was a good move for my personal life as well. I was hired to work 4 days a week instead of 5 with a weekend rotation. As time went on, I learned more and through the turnover of staff I fell into my current role of Third Party Coordination.
What is a typical day like in your role?
There is no typical day, every day is different and unique which is something I like. I have to take all the puzzle pieces I am given and put them together to reach the goal. I coordinate:
~ IVF cycles for Intended Parents that will be using Gestational Carriers
~Coordinate use of Gestational Carriers
~Assist patients in using Donor Eggs (fresh and frozen) to build their families
~Guide patients to adopt or donate embryos
All of the above can happen in any combination. They each involve various rules and regulations that need to be followed: approval of records, specific lab requirements for each, timing of some labs and testing, psychosocial consultations, legal contracts, specific paperwork, education on the requirements for the offsite company they are choosing to work with.
I provide resources to the patients to accomplish all theses things so I have to maintain relationships with offsite counselor’s, attorney’s, GC agencies, egg banks, embryo adoption agencies and other companies.
How is your work/life balance?
For me it is great! I enjoy what I do and do not take work home. But this specialty works with highly hormonal patients that wanted that baby long before they came to us. They have a lot emotionally and financially at stake. Sometimes that can wear on our staff overtime so there can be burnout. I am lucky to be able to work 4 days a week! So I can have some additional separation from work. Not all our staff is able to do that.
Any advice to other nurses that are looking to get into this specialty?
There is no training out there for my role, its taught on the job. In my clinic, there is very little nursing turnover so I have encouraged interested nurses to apply from our PRN positions to get their foot in the door. Our most recent nurse openings came from our growth and the need for new positions to be created. It’s just a matter of time before we will need to do that again.
*Thank you Christine for sharing your nursing journey! If you are interested in being featured for a job you love or a unique role, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org!