Face to Face With Samantha Erikson
Meet Our Nurse Practitioner
White House would like to introduce our very own Nurse Practitioner, Samantha Erikson, who joined our team 3 months ago. Her gentle, reassuring presence is a fundamental part of our larger effort to minimize the rehospitalization of our residents.
Have you always wanted to pursue a career in nursing?
Well, I majored in biology at Muhlenberg College because I thought it would give me the background to enter the field of pharmacology, nursing or physical therapy. In the end I chose nursing and went on to get my RN degree from Seton Hall University.
What was your first nursing job?
I worked for 5 years as a hospital floor nurse in St. Joe’s Regional Medical Center in Patterson, New Jersey, caring for 6-7 acutely ill patients on the geriatric surgical floor. I always had a love for geriatrics. Growing up, I was very close to my 3 living grandparents who lived nearby. They babysat me a lot – taking me to the mall where we met their friends. I was often surrounded by elderly people and enjoyed hanging out with them.
Why did you decide to go back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner?
I love learning and I felt that becoming a Nurse Practitioner would enable me to take on a leadership role in my work with patients. When I was younger I used to accompany my maternal grandmother to her doctor’s office for her regular check-ups. She was seen by a Nurse Practitioner there who was very thorough and would take the time to explain everything to us. That really made an impact on me.
Are you happy with your decision?
I truly enjoy being a Nurse Practitioner and find it to be very fulfilling. I especially like working in a Long Term Care setting. Getting to know the residents is very rewarding, and the fact that I can be more involved in their care is gratifying.
How often are you at White House?
I am here 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.
What does your average day look like?
My daily routine begins with checking on all new admissions to assess their status. If there’s a change in a resident’s condition I evaluate it and take steps to help the resident get better. In my role as NP I prescribe medications, perform blood work, and order chest x-rays, ultrasounds and other tests, which are done in-house.
When making my rounds, I keep my eyes open – monitoring each resident’s progress to detect subtle changes in condition and treat accordingly. Our objective is to effectively manage our residents’ care and prevent their readmission to the hospital. If a patient is rehospitalized I do a follow-up report to see if there are any steps we can take to prevent that in the future.
What is your experience working with the staff?
The administration is very welcoming, and open to any ideas and suggestions. They are truly concerned about the residents. White House is notably very clean and well-organized compared to other nursing homes I’ve visited. I interface closely with the Director of Nursing and the Assistant Director of Nursing, and we have a daily 45 minute morning meeting with all the unit managers and departments heads to review the care of each resident.
On a personal note, Samantha is newly married and lives about 40 minutes away from White House in Oakland, NJ. Her husband is also in the medical field. She enjoys hiking, cooking and baking, gardening and just spending time outdoors – especially at the beach during her summer vacations on Long Beach Island.