Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | March 7, 2023

The Sure and Steady Rise of Vida Gyamfi

There’s a single detail in the story of Vida Gyamfi that reveals just how resourceful she is. Gyamfi arrived in North Carolina in 2013 from her native Ghana. She’d worked as a nurse back home and had her sights set on doing the same thing in the U.S. The only problem? The long, complicated licensure process for nurses trained outside of the United States. So for starters, she secured a housekeeping job at Duke Raleigh Hospital. “My husband told me about Duke,” she recalls. “He said it was a really good school so I said ‘I am going to go to Duke.’”

Here’s where that detail comes in: Gyamfi got herself assigned to the emergency department at the hospital and got right to work, not only cleaning but chatting up nearby nursing assistants like Terry Muturi and Obed Vanboven about how they got where they were. “Housekeeping is a vital job,” Gyamfi says. “In the hospital setting, we cannot do without cleanliness. I knew how important it was, so I was very dedicated.”

Gyamfi wasn’t about to give up on her nursing dreams, which began under the saddest circumstances imaginable. “As a young girl in Ghana, I witnessed my two brothers suffer from the effects of Sickle Cell Disease and saw the pain my parents had to endure.” Both brothers died at the age of six from their first sickle cell crisis due to poor management, Gyamfi says. “Two days before the death of one of my brothers, the doctor discharged him prematurely. My best friend’s mom was an experienced nurse and advocated for his readmission. Her actions and the above life situations sparked my desire to pursue a career in health to serve the people and create awareness of such preventable diseases.”

Early in Gyamfi’s tenure with the Duke Raleigh housekeeping team, charge nurse Melissa Wilson took note of her work ethic and smarts. So did educator Erin Harris and operations administrator Molly Frazier. “Melissa saw that I was astute,” Gyamfi says. “I told her that soon I would be working with her!” Less than a year later, the prediction came true. In August 2014, Gyamfi made the switch from housekeeping to nursing, starting work on the 4th floor at Duke Raleigh Hospital after earning her NA1 certification from CareOne Health Institute. She added her NA2 certification in 2016, became a U.S. Registered Nurse in 2017 and a Progressive Care Certified Nurse in 2020. 

Duke benefit programs like Employee Tuition Assistance and the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account–not to mention certification bonuses–have helped her along her path, Gyamfi says. She also raves about the scheduling flexibility afforded to her by various managers, a key as she and her husband welcomed three children. “Duke is a great environment in which to work. It’s very family oriented.”

Like Gyamfi’s family, her career continues to blossom. She earned her Family Nurse Practitioner certification last November and will finish an endocrinology specialty program at the Duke University School of Nursing this coming December. What then? Immediately apply for a full-time Family Nurse Practitioner job, of course. Just like she always planned. Some day, she says, she hopes to build a specialty clinic in Ghana. Don’t bet against it.

“I have a friend who says, ‘No matter how big a tree is, it can never make a forest.’ Every hospital job is important, from housekeeping to nursing. We need everybody. Whatever you are doing, keep on shining.”

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Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | February 17, 2023

Perspective of a Nurse

Alethia King shares her experiences of coming to Duke Raleigh and the supportive culture she discovered.

Nurturing a supportive environment for nurses is key to maintaining strong teams at Duke Raleigh. Alethia King has worked as a travel nurse in hospitals across the country for the past eight years. But as soon as she walked through the doors of Duke Raleigh Hospital, she noticed a difference.  

“I’ve never seen a hospital work so hard to keep their nurses present,” said King. 

“There are times you can be in hospitals and you feel like you’re an island and you’re working alone,” she added. “But I can say the managers, my co-workers don’t make me feel like that. I don’t have to worry about that here. I know at any given shift I have people that support me and care about me.”

King describes her experience working for Duke Health as a very rewarding one. One where she knows her work is valued and she feels seen and heard by her peers and leaders. 

“I’ve been at places you see the manager once a week. You know they’re very busy but they don’t connect with their staff. “When Doctor Griffith (President, Duke Raleigh Hospital) presented herself to the floor, I got a chance to speak to her. I wanted her to know that this is not the norm. I wanted her to know that this is not what every hospital is doing. I wanted her to know there was a difference.

If you’re interested in starting a career at Duke Health, visit our careers page to explore your options

Posted by: chantalzita | January 21, 2023

Duke Raleigh Operations Center

A hospital patient is ready to go home, but there’s one thing holding them back – it may be a scan, waiting on blood work, or family questions. From a patient and staff perspective this can be frustrating. The newly launched Duke Raleigh Operations Center (DROC) is helping to speed up the process.

Along a quiet hallway in the heart of Duke Raleigh Hospital is a small but bustling room that monitors all the comings and goings of our complex organization. It’s called DROC and its sole job is to keep all hospital departments operating together – through continuous communication – to improve patient flow and care across the hospital.

“The Operations Center helps bring it all together so that everyone is focusing on the same patients at the same time,” said Diane Mitchell, administration director, Duke Raleigh Hospital.

Launched in August 2022, DROC is a place where barriers are broken down and problems are solved together. At Duke Raleigh, any team member who runs into a road block to help move a patient along on their care journey can contact the center; this includes nurses, physical therapists, hospital medicine, housekeeping, emergency room staff, and beyond.  

“Before the Operations Center existed, we prioritized our patients based on what worked best for individual departments,” said Zachary Cantor, service line director, Orthopedics & Spine, Duke Raleigh Hospital. “Now we are taking our departmental needs and aligning them with the entire hospital team to provide more efficient, quality care.”

“Since its inception, the Operations Center has had a big impact on patient flow in the ED,” said Dr. Timothy Plonk, Emergency Department medical director, Duke Raleigh Hospital. “Expediting discharges and decreasing length of stay at our hospital ultimately results in us being able to treat more patients from the community.”

Because we know that patients would rather be at home recovering, over the past five months DROC has helped reduce the number of days a patient has to spend in the hospital, and has made discharge easier and faster so patients can get home sooner.

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | December 21, 2022

End of Year Service Changes

The following Duke Raleigh Hospital clinics and services will have scheduled changes in observance of the holidays.

Service Closures for December 26 and January 2

*The Symptom Management Clinic, a resource for symptom management to help minimize cancer patients’ use of the Emergency Department for care at 3404 Wake Forest Road (Medical Office Building 7), will be open for scheduled appointments through the holidays with the exception of December 25. Patients in need of an appointment should call 919-862-5400. ​​

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | July 25, 2022

Video: Local Artist Presents New Radiation Oncology Mural

Watch the video above to hear local artist Georgia Tardy describe the inspiration behind the latest addition to Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Arts & Health program, a mural entitled “Despite It All, I Will Arise.” The outdoor painting featuring butterflies, lotus flowers, and a large yellow sun extends along the complete path of the patient entrance (rear Executive Drive entrance) to Duke Raleigh’s Radiation Oncology clinic at 3404 Wake Forest Road, where it can be viewed by patients, staff, and visitors as they come to and leave the clinic.

All of the pieces in the Duke Raleigh visual arts program are designed with the patient journey in mind. Learn more about the inspirational art pieces featured on the campus of Duke Raleigh Hospital.

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