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Staff Spotlight: Jamie Hollowell, MSN, ACNP

Monday, November 20, 2017

Our Neuro Intensive Care Unit (or Neuro ICU) is where patients go to receive some of the most complex, intensive care at Duke Hospital. Jamie Hollowell, MSN, ACNP, helps patients get there safely and efficiently. In this week’s Staff Spotlight interview, Hollowell talks to us about navigating between the Neuro ICU, our Emergency Department (ED), and our Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), and what each of these units provides for patients. She also talks about her loves of family, tap dancing and travel outside of work.

You recently took on the role of the Neuro ICU’s Neurocritical Care Support Service, or “Roving APP.” What does this work involve? What does your average day look like?
This job involves assisting and extending the Neuro ICU by going to see patients who are awaiting an ICU bed, such as in the ED or PACU, and I can then communicate exam findings or plans between the other units and the ICU providers. I also provide support to nurses or providers on other units who have neuro questions and am available to assist in stroke codes or with neuro consults if needed. My work day varies, some days I'm in ED a lot, other days I go to PACU several times a day, most days it’s a combination of several duties.

How and when did you decide to pursue nursing? What drew you to neurointensive care?
I always wanted to work in healthcare but wasn't sure what I wanted to do exactly. I decided on nursing when I was working in clinical research here at Duke and noticed that there were nurses in so many different roles in the hospital, I knew that nursing was a career that would give me lots of options. I was drawn to neurocritical care when I got the opportunity to interview in the neuro ICU for an NP job and was really excited by the role of the NP in the Neuro ICU.

How do the environments of the Neuro ICU, Emergency Department, and Post Anesthesia Care Unit compare? What's the biggest difference between these locations?
The three unit differ most in their focus: ED stabilizes the primary issue but doesn't provide long-term management.  PACU recovers from surgery and focuses on immediate post-op concerns. Patients are admitted to ICU due to a critical illness/issue but the patient is treated as a whole and all the body systems are addressed in some manner.

What do you enjoy most about your work? What’s the toughest part of your job?
I love being able to do something different every day and being part of developing a new role. It’s still tough to clearly articulate my job description since it's still somewhat fluid, so that can be a challenge, especially when talking to other services and departments.

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the Department?
I live on a farm and I have young children, so I stay pretty busy with keeping up with all of that! I love to travel (anywhere warm and sunny, with Italy, Australia, and Alaska on my bucket list) and to dance (primarily tap), neither of which I get to do very often these days!

Hollowell, husband Lee and children Garrett (7) and Easton (3) pose at the N.C. State Fair.