As a member of the first cohort of the Rising Nurse Leader Academy at Akron Children’s, Teddy Pavlantos was selected as an emerging nurse leader by the Ohio Organization for Nursing Leadership at its fall 2022 conference.
“It was an honor to be chosen and learn from chief nursing officers from around the state about what different hospitals are doing to combat the many issues facing health care today,” Teddy said.
In his role as an air/ground transport nurse, Teddy travels to hospitals throughout Ohio and the surrounding states to assess and transport critical patients into the Akron Children’s network.
“I enjoy the challenge of transporting critical patients. There’s nothing like being at an outside facility with a critical patient, knowing their only hope is to get them back to one of our specialists and making it happen,” said Teddy. “Our transport team employs some of the most knowledgeable paramedics, respiratory therapists and nurses. They make my job so much easier and enjoyable.”
Although he has recently taken a step back from committee work to focus on the next steps in his career journey, Teddy has enjoyed being actively involved in the past.
“I’ve been a part of unit-based council, trauma nurse leaders and the scheduling committee in the emergency department (ED),” he said.
As a former ASCEND intern (a program designed to help the hospital build a more diverse nursing workforce), Teddy said his placement in the ED helped cement his passion for trauma nursing.
“I didn’t know I wanted to be a pediatric nurse until my senior year of nursing school,” he said. “I was selected to be a part of the ASCEND program and placed in the ED. I immediately fell in love with the people, tasks and challenges that a pediatric emergency room had to offer.”
Teddy said he was inspired to become a nurse by his mom who suffers from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
“Whenever she would go in the hospital, she would stress how important it is to have a good nurse,” he said.
Through his activity in workgroups and committees, Teddy has realized the importance and impact of having a voice in your workplace.
“The front-line workers are the ones who actually do the tasks, and it’s important that new policies and procedures represent the actual work being done,” he said. “There’s nothing more disheartening when a new policy rolls out and it looks nothing like what is currently being done and the employees know that it will not succeed. Here at Children’s, we have numerous opportunities for staff and leaders to work together. It’s not always fun or easy, but the end result makes for a much better workplace.”
While Teddy is happy in his role as a transport nurse, he said the beauty of nursing is there are many other opportunities out there to try for anyone not currently fulfilled in their job.
“I think it’s important to enjoy what you do, especially as a nurse,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to try something new and fail. Failure is only the opportunity to begin again.”