TriStar Spring Hill Emergency Room Director Keri McKamey does her job with evident gratification and enjoyment, and she proudly stands behind her staff, taking every opportunity to celebrate their exceptional quality of care. Keri has served as director since the emergency room opened in 2013, overseeing the freestanding facility, which provides 24-hour emergency diagnostic and treatment services from board-certified physicians. This year marks her sixth year with TriStar Health and her 26th year of nursing. Her commitment to the community and her staff is admirable — hats off to this inspiring leader in our healthcare community. Meet our newest FACE of TriStar, Keri McKamey.
How has TriStar’s presence in the area improved quality of care?
Initially, there was a misconception of what a freestanding ER is and what conditions we can treat. I have really enjoyed my time here in the past six years, getting out in the community and letting folks know that we have state-of-the-art equipment, and we can take care of anything — broken bones, lacerations, heart attacks, strokes, trauma … you name it.
If you live minutes away from our facility and slice your finger and need stitches, you don’t want to drive 15, 20, 30 minutes. TriStar Spring Hill ER has short wait times. We want to get you or your loved one taken care of so things can return to normal as quickly as possible. We are happy to be here and serve our community.
What critical care services does TriStar Spring Hill ER offer?
We see a lot of abdominal pain, chest pain, pneumonia, strep throat, flu, broken bones and wounds, but we also treat patients with acute conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. People are staying home and trying to care for themselves longer, so when they get here they are really sick. We see quite a few patients with infections that lead to sepsis and then have to be hospitalized.
Spring Hill is a young community, so we have a large pediatric population. When we first opened, the average age in Spring Hill was 30. Now, about a third of our patients are pediatric patients. If these patients need to be admitted, we have a streamlined process that allows us to get our patients to The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial.
Tell us about your staff.
We have 27 nurses on staff who have a combined 316 years of experience. All of our nurses are registered nurses, and they all have ACLS (advanced cardiac life support), BLS (basic life support) and PALS (pediatric advanced life support) certifications. It’s highly encouraged that they take the TNCC (trauma nursing core course). About one-third of our nurses have their CEN (certified emergency nurse) certification, but our goal is that 80% of our nurses have their bachelor in nursing degree and that we have more than 50% of our nurses with their CEN.
The nurses are also required to have CPI (crisis prevention training) because we treat patients who are at risk of suicide or homicide. Our staff receives yearly training in how to protect the patients and themselves.
One thing I love about working for HCA Healthcare is that if you want the education and you want to learn, the opportunities are at your fingertips. We continually offer education to ensure that when our patients come in, we are highly trained and experienced.
What are your responsibilities as ER Director?
I am responsible for the clinical staff here at this facility and the clinical operations. It is my job to ensure that I hire nurses who are the right fit and have the right experience, training and knowledge. Your resume can be the best of anyone’s out there, but I am looking for people who fit our culture. I can teach you how to start an IV, but I can’t teach you to be nice and care about people.
HCA and TriStar have ICARE values — integrity, compassion, positive attitude, respect, exceptional clinical quality — and that is what I am looking for.
I also ensure that our staff has all the tools and equipment to do their jobs well. I am constantly looking at our processes and how we can make improvements to make sure this is a safe environment for everyone and ensure we are doing everything we can to give the greatest level of care. It is my job to make sure we are all working collaboratively and providing the highest level of quality care.
I love my job if you can’t tell!
June is National Safety Month. What safety advice do you have?
In June, children are out of school, so make sure they are wearing their helmets for their bicycles. But if they fall, get injured and need care, know we are here.
When you aren’t working, where can we find you?
I have three children — my first just graduated high school. I have a daughter who is 16 and a sophomore, and a daughter who is 15 and a freshman. They all play sports so you can ask anybody — I am always at the ball field. My neighbors tell me that I’m never at home, and that is true. I am also an avid reader and typically read two to three books per week. I also love spending time with my family, and I love going to the beach.
Thank you, Keri McKamey, for reminding us to find joy in our careers. And thank you for providing the community of Spring Hill with quality care. Thanks to Leila Grossman for the beautiful photos.
Learn more about the services at TriStar Spring Hill ER here.
This article is sponsored by TriStar Health.