Sheandi Richins is perpetual motion personified. When not taking care of her family, training for a marathon or teaching Zumba classes, she’s immersed in the whirlwind world of the emergency room as the emergency room clinical educator.
“You have critical-care patients, which can be very challenging, and I like challenge,” says Sheandi. “It’s also very fast-paced, which matches my personality. It’s just so dynamic and ever-changing, and I love that aspect of it. The reason I love the ER is the people I work with.”
A veteran of 15 years at EIRMC, Sheandi makes sure every nurse is equipped to provide exceptional care. “I think about my experience, because when I was a new nurse, there wasn’t an educator in the ER. There were times I didn’t feel confident or comfortable in many situations.”
She says the benefit of having a mentor for new nurses and those new to the ER is that it gives them the tools they need to be successful—and confident. “I want to teach new people the right way to do things, and provide them with the right resources, so they’re taking care of patients the safest and the best way.”
To achieve those goals, Sheandi developed three important programs for the ER: the Outstanding Preceptor of the Quarter Award recognizes veteran nurses who tutor new staffers; the Primary Trauma Nurse Development Pathway is designed to provide more hands-on trauma experience; and the New Graduate Emergency Room Program is a six-month program that encompasses the demands of ER care.
Sheandi’s work in these areas led to her receiving the HCA Excellence in Nursing Award for Professional Mentoring. “I put a lot of effort into the things I do. But there are so many amazing people at HCA Healthcare and at the hospital. It’s very humbling, and I hope I do [the award] justice.”
Outside of work, Sheandi stays active in other ways. She held a Zumbathon that raised more than $3,000 for a coworker diagnosed with a brain tumor, and in 2016 she fulfilled her dream of running in the Boston Marathon.
“Fitness is a passion, because I’ve been on the other side of the fence, when I haven’t been fit, and I’ve had health problems,” says Sheandi. “I like to express the impact of staying healthy, whether at the bedside, helping people take care of themselves, or in the community, motivating people to get up and move.”