Paul Pepper is on the road a lot, yet still feels at home.
The registered nurse is part of our nursing flex team, which was introduced earlier this year to allow our nurses to seek opportunities that best support their needs. They can work in different units within their own facility or market. Or they can travel to opportunities at our hospitals throughout all our markets.
In fact, our new nursing flex team is what brought Paul back to our ministry.
After he became a nurse in 2012, Paul worked at Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center, Mercy Health – St. Charles Hospital and Mercy Health – St. Anne Hospital in Toledo, Ohio. Looking for something new, he left for a job in another state. But then, when he heard about our nursing flex team, he was happy to return to the health system he considers family.
“When I was with St. Vincent, there was a family kind of vibe,” Paul recalls. “The bedside manner is more caring. But I didn’t realize it at the time.”
Overall, he says he saw differences while working elsewhere the last two years.
“Even with short staffing there may be difficulties, but the ministry is more clinically sound,” he adds. “Even though every corporation has to look at the cost of things and how things work, especially with COVID-19, the ministry seemed to be more concerned about employees and job satisfaction. And it seemed I needed to go back to that kind of family feeling.”
Paul credits our ministry’s faith-based mission for creating a great place to work.
“In other facilities, other than pastoral care, you don’t talk about God,” he explains. “Here, I find more patients – because they’re coming to a religious hospital – when there’s trouble, they tend to talk about it themselves and allow you to open up and talk about things. I’m not super religious, but I do believe in Jesus and in the ministry. I believe in this setting, when people are sick, there’s nothing more amazing – nothing more, I would say, fulfilling – as a human being to talk about.”
“I find almost all of the doctors have a great bedside manner. As a nurse, that’s a big deal,” he points out. “And the managers I’ve dealt with as well as every unit have been welcoming.”
Paul also appreciates the resource optimization center, the market-based staffing and scheduling team that coordinates his three 12-hour shifts weekly.
“They are very easy to work with when it comes to my schedule,” he says. “They do their best to give me what I need.”
Paul has worked in various nursing roles, including the cardiac step-down unit. Now, he typically fills progressive care and medical-surgical assignments. He has an Ohio nursing license and is interested in serving at locations in our other markets as well.
“Nursing energizes me,” he states. “I love it. I love the complexity of it, in physical, mental and social situations.”
Still, Paul’s highest priority is taking care of his two young daughters and returning to work with our ministry has helped him do that.
“I’m blessed with a great job that I can take care of my family. I am thriving all because of this job,” he says.
Our nursing flex team aims to combine the benefits of being one of our team members with the appeal of travel. In addition to financial incentives and access to continuing education resources, participants get re-licensure assistance and a housing stipend.
Learn about the health care services we offer at Mercy Health.