SPOTLIGHT ON CHRISTINA DELGADILLO
Great Bend Regional Hospital does a lot to “grow their own” and foster opportunities for advancement for its employees. Christina Delgadillo is a great example of a hard-working employee who wanted more for her family. “I started in housekeeping more than six years ago, and decided that I wanted to pursue my nursing degree,” Delgadillo said. “After I got my LPN, I decided to continue on and get my RN (and possibly go for my BSN). ... The hospital has always worked around my school schedule and helped me get the shifts I need to maintain a work-life balance.”
Has lived in Great Bend for 30 years.
Husband Miguel Delgadillo and daughter Vanessa.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: “Currently, just work and school.”
Q: What first drew you to this type of work?
A: “I felt comfortable in the hospital environment.”
Q: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
A: “I enjoy seeing different people day to day.”
Every successful business knows that its employees are its biggest asset, and Great Bend Regional Hospital is no exception. The leadership team at the local, physician-owned hospital has created strategic opportunities for its staff to continue their education to better their careers. And for some people, the tuition for college courses is 100 percent free to the student.
“We have several partnerships in place that allow us to offer these unique educational opportunities to our employees,” said Adina Gregory, chief operating officer at GBRH. “One of these partnerships is with Barton Community College and the other is with the Kansas Board of Regents. We do everything we can to accommodate employees who want to advance their career and earn a higher wage, which in turn creates higher retention rates.”
Since the 33-bed hospital opened in 2009, it has facilitated students from BCC’s nursing program. Students put in their necessary clinical hours working side by side with hospital staff, supervised by either a college instructor or by a nursing preceptor who is trained to supervise clinical students. At GBRH, first year students in the LPN program work in the Women and Children’s Center, providing obstetric and pediatric care. The second year students in the RN program rotate among the Emergency Room, Urgent Care, Medical/Surgical Unit and ICU to get a well-rounded clinical experience.
“Our partnership with Great Bend Regional is really mutually beneficial for both the college and the hospital. Our students need opportunities to put in clinical hours, and the hospital’s staff has always been extremely accommodating and supportive of our students,” said Brenda Glendenning, BCC nursing instructor. “On the flip side, Great Bend Regional Hospital gets opportunities to groom and train nursing staff from day one and often has the opportunity to hire our students after they finish their degree, which meets a critical need for quality, well-trained employees.”
For the employees who decide to pursue higher education after they are already employed with the hospital, GBRH tries to accommodate school schedules and facilitate opportunities for Kansas Board of Regents scholarships. Through Career Technical Workforce Grants, students can apply for up to $3,500 each school year for nursing service scholarships. The only requirement is that they have to work for a sponsoring business, which provides a portion of those funds. They also have to stay employed with that sponsoring business for at least one year for every year of financial support they receive.
“We have matched Board of Regents scholarships for more than a dozen of our employees in the last five years, and we try to be accommodating with their shift schedules while they are in school,” Gregory said. “When they are finished, the employee can earn a higher wage and better provide for their families. Our goal is that their experience and commitment to our facility will last long after their service obligation has expired.”
One of the hospital’s employees that took advantage of this program is Jessica Jaske, who works in the Medical/Surgical Unit. Jaske worked for Great Bend Regional for over a year as an LPN before deciding to go back to school and pursue her degree as a Registered Nurse. The Board of Regents scholarship made all the difference, she said.
“The hospital sponsoring me through the Board of Regents grant program allowed me to work less and focus on my education while I was taking classes,” Jaske said. “In my opinion, the advantage of doing it this way, other than the free education, was having a guaranteed job after graduation and getting a more diverse range of clinical experience.”
Jaske has worked for other health-care facilities in the area, and chose GBRH for a few key reasons. “In smaller hospitals, you just don’t get the same types of cases coming in, so you end up with less experience for surgical and medical knowledge,” she said. “We also have really advanced technology here, and a low patient ratio that makes me feel confident in my ability to care for all my patients.”