Grace began her career where the learning was best.

Grace studied nursing right here in Los Angeles at Mount St. Mary's College, and did her clinicals at UCLA. So she knew there were a lot of great reasons for starting a career at UCLA Health. But for Grace, the nearly unlimited opportunities for learning were among the most important. “UCLA is such an innovative hospital, and it's great to work where there are so many new things going on. But the main thing is, they put so much effort into making sure we have the training to learn them. So if a new program is coming to the unit, the clinical nurse specialist or clinical educator sets up in-service training. So we can bring all the new innovations into how we practice.”

“I came here right out of nursing school. And now, I'm a Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse,” says Grace. “So I think we're pretty lucky to have an Administration that pushes education as much as UCLA does.” And the learning opportunities go beyond just nursing skills. “I've learned to work as a preceptor and educator. I've worked in the lab and I've even worked with insurance.” Where does it stop? “It never stops,” says Grace. “You can take courses in ethics, in pain, in evidence-based practice, in research... just name it.” And for nurses who want to train in new clinical areas? “UCLA promotes that,” she says. “They want our skills as broad-based as possible.”

Grace knows how intimidating UCLA can be for even experienced nurses when they first arrive. “It was easier for me because of the time I spent here while I was still in school.” So how does UCLA deal with the intimidation factor? “We have really strong orientation programs,” she says, “especially for new grads. There's Launch Pad, which is something about 4 days of skills labs and classes before you even get to the floor. Then you're paired with a preceptor and you could have up to a week of classes depending on your unit. And then orientation for the unit might be another 6 weeks to 3 months. So they make sure nurses are really ready here.”

“Are you kidding? Don't get me started!” But we got her started. “The move to Magnet has been very powerful. For the nurses and the hospital.” And then there's CICARE, the evidence-based system UCLA uses for interacting with patients. “It gives us a way to communicate with our patients and with each other that builds understanding and trust.” But what Grace seems to like best about UCLA is the people she works with. “They're not just my coworkers. They're my friends. My family! People here always have my back. And they know I have theirs. How else do you build trust?” she asked. How indeed. “If you want great teamwork, you have to start with a great team. And that's what I love most about UCLA. I get to be part of such an amazing team effort.”

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Carl, Rehab Department

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Anna, Sr. Patient Liaison

As a Sr. Patient Liaison in the Office of Patient Experience, Anna has the opportunity to use her communication skills to help patients and their families have a better understanding of the care they're receiving at UCLA Health.

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Wendy, Clinical Care Partner

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Kim, RN - Orthopedics Unit

Kim, RN - Orthopedics Unit

Kimberly is Unit Director for a surgical inpatient unit at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. Working at UCLA has afforded Kim the opportunity to be involved directly with patient care and support staff nurses at the bedside.

Deidre, IT Adoption & Engagement

Deidre, IT Adoption & Engagement

Deidre started her journey as a Physical Therapist, but soon found another way to help people with her passion for technology. Today she is a Director in the Information Services and Solutions department of UCLA Health.

Bethany, Clinical Laboratory

Bethany, Clinical Laboratory

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Emerita, Housekeeping

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Meggie, Neurological Rehab

Meggie, Neurological Rehab

As an Occupational Therapist in the Neurological Rehab Unit at UCLA Health, Meggie helps patients get back to their everyday tasks. Teamwork is essential to success in her field, and it's one of the reasons she's happy to be at UCLA Health.

Karen, MRI Tech/Radiology

Karen, MRI Tech/Radiology

Karen started as an Intern with UCLA Health and is now working as an MRI Technologist at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. In her role, she uses CICARE to make patients feel comfortable and have the best experience possible.

Chris, Emergency Medical Tech

Chris, Emergency Medical Tech

When he was 16, Chris began his journey as a Fire Explorer. As soon as he had the chance to take the EMT test, he went for it. Now he's happy to be working in UCLA's Critical Care Transport Department as an Emergency Medical Tech

Paul, Chief Administrative Officer

Paul, Chief Administrative Officer

Paul Watkins is Chief Administrative Officer for UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. He points out that the new Santa Monica facility was designed with the patient in mind, so that all of the services flow around the patient. For Paul, being at UCLA has been "a phenomenal experience."

Jerome, Performance Excellence

Jerome, Performance Excellence

Jerome began his journey with UCLA Health more than 22 years ago as a work-study student. He worked his way up to become a Manager in Hospital Transportation Department. Today he holds dual roles in the Transportation and Performance Excellence Departments.

Louise, Management Service Officer

Louise, Management Service Officer

When Louise was a surgery patient at UCLA, she fell in love with the organization. She started working as a Billing Clerk in 1986 and her journey continued. Now she's as a Management Service Officer with the Faculty Practice Group in Santa Monica.

Administrative Fellowship Program – Group 2

Administrative Fellowship Program – Group 2

Michael Burke (2012) and Lily Roh (2013) talk about their experiences in the UCLA Health Administrative Fellowship Program. This 12-month program provides young leaders with hospital management and administrative training in all aspects of an academic medical center.

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At UCLA Health, we achieve excellence in patient care consistently by following the steps outlined in CICARE.

CICARE is an acronym that describes specific behaviors that are guaranteed to result in excellent communication with patients, families and colleagues.

Every UCLA Health employee, physician and volunteer holds themselves and their colleagues accountable for practicing these six steps with everyone on every encounter.

Click on the above to learn more about CICARE.

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Connect with the patient and their family members by addressing them as Mr./Ms., or by the name they prefer.

Introduce yourself and your role.

Communicate what you are going to do, how long it is going to take, and how it will impact the patient.

Ask permission before examining the patient and anticipate patient and/or family needs, questions or concerns.

Respond to patient and/or family questions and requests with immediacy.

Exit courteously and/or with an explanation of what will come next (or when you will be back to check on them).