Ash started her healthcare career when she was just 15, helping her mother answer phones at a small internal medicine clinic in Mexico, Missouri. Two years later, she was working at a hospital X-ray lab. She’s been with HCA Healthcare’s CareNow Urgent Care for about seven years. Although her day-to-day responsibilities as a leader often have her behind the scenes, her reason for getting into healthcare is simple. She is known for saying that her role is “to take great care of patients.”
“It’s the simple, cheesy answer,” she says. “I felt like urgent care was a great complement to all of my skills. I did the work before, so there are times when I step in and do some patient care, especially as an X-ray tech, if they don’t have a tech that day.”
Serving patients is also a good stress reliever that reminds her of her purpose, she says.
“Sometimes if I’ve had stressful calls or meetings, I’ll step in and do some drug screens just to get that patient interaction to remind me that this is why I’m here,” she says.
Early in the pandemic, patient volume at CareNow dropped significantly, but Ash recognized the great need for COVID-19 testing.
“We quickly got on board with doing rapid testing, which we still do today,” she says.
The undertaking required extensive preparation and staff training, establishing new collection procedures and ensuring that supplies were well stocked.
“Hospitals were seeing the really, really sick, so we took on that patient whose child was exposed to COVID-19 and wasn’t sure if they had it themselves. We could help provide that peace of mind,” she says.