Graduate Spotlight: Itamar Simhon ’08

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Meet Itamar! A 2008 graduate from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Nursing and Clinical Nurse Manager of Healogics, Inc. at Washington Adventist Hospital. Learn about his experiences at USG and see what he is up to now.

Starting from when you began your program at USG, what steps did you take to get to where you are today in your career?

Through the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Nursing at USG, students are able to earn a Patient Care Technician certificate during their third semester. Since I wanted to start having a clinical experience and build professional relationships, it became a goal of mine to obtain the certificate, and once I did, I started working at Suburban Hospital in the intensive care unit (ICU). Working in the ICU allowed me to correlate what I was learning in the classroom and apply it directly to my job. The experience in the ICU was one I’ll never forget — not only I was I able to form a relationship with my employer, but I also benefited from getting the best hands-on experience I could ask for. That then turned into a job offer as a Registered Nurse (RN) when I graduated. During my time at Suburban Hospital I made a conscious effort to seek mentors with the more accomplished nurses, knowing that they would continue to move up in their career. I was also very active on LinkedIn and it was through LinkedIn that I got offered my current job at Healogics.

What do you do at your current job?_DSC0004

As the Clinical Nurse Manager at Healogics, my day starts at 8:00am. The nurses and I gather for a morning huddle to talk about the day’s schedule and any important information about patients. I still see patients and manage the most difficult cases.  I work side by side with the six doctors that work at our clinic and we consult with each other regarding the next steps in our patients’ care. I also often meet with pharmaceutical representatives and make decisions as to which products we wish to use in the clinic. I meet with the hospital administration and discuss the progress of the clinic, revenue, and hiring decisions. We also host medical students; each one has a two week rotation in the wound care center. It’s a great set-up for them — I get to train the students, answer their questions and provide guidance as they assist us with patient care. No two days are exactly the same and that’s one thing I love most about my job. I’m constantly on my feet, making decisions, and working to improve the clinic and lives of our patients.

How did your time at USG prepare you for your career?

My experience at USG led me to have a successful career that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Academically, I had amazing professors who were not only knowledgeable, but kind and patient, and truly wanted to see their students succeed. It was through their support and advice that I was able to make it through even the most difficult courses. The clinical rotations I went through as part of the nursing program were essential to my learning and application of the “textbook” knowledge I had gained. I was able to put everything I learned into action and my hands-on experience taught me how to problem solve and think quickly on my feet. These skills were essential in my first job as a nurse in the ICU, and they are still essential in my current position as a Clinical Nurse Manager at Healogics. While at USG I was fortunate to receive a very generous academic scholarship called the “Casey Scholarship” from Suburban Hospital that paid for my last year of school. This made my life so much easier as it allowed me to focus on my academics and not worry about how pay for school or working extra hours. I am so thankful for the scholarship that I received, but most importantly for my time at USG.

What was your most memorable experience at USG?

My most memorable experience was while I was President of the USG Student Council. Every year the class decides on a gift to leave as a legacy. My class, the class of 2008, decided we wanted to plant and dedicate a tree to USG. With the help of Julia Radar we held a big event, and presented a plaque that reads, “A green gift from a green generation. Class of 2008.” So now when you walk between building I and III you can see the beautiful eight year-old tree we planted.

In 140 characters or less, what message would you give to future graduates?

Travel. Be adventurous. Make memories. Learn from life. The wisdom & experience you gain will help you in your career.

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