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Unit Manager II, 9 South Pulmonary Floor Parkland Hospital of Dallas
“I got exposed to different nursing areas in my duties as a pharmacy tech at Parkland Hospital, where I was working when I started El Centro’s Associate Degree Nursing program. Parkland offered a nursing residency program around the time I finished the ADN program, and I was very fortunate to be offered the track in medical intensive care. I stayed there for six years before moving into management. I’ve been a unit manager now for six years.
“The best part of my El Centro education was that it prepared me for patient contact since we spent a big chunk of time in the clinical setting. You can’t really prepare for the reality of being a registered nurse, but I had an edge because of the clinical emphasis of the program. When I was going through my intensive care unit residency, I compared notes with my colleagues, and I felt like I had more clinical experience and exposure than registered nurses who had gone through a four-year program.
“My nursing education helped me develop critical thinking skills, how to think through various scenarios and decide what you’re going to do. As a manager, I emphasize how important those critical thinking skills are when I’m mentoring new or transferring nurses.
“Going through nursing school was extremely hard work — kind of like boot camp. I’m very proud of coming through the El Centro program. The faculty there shared not just their knowledge but themselves.”
As a unit manager on a primary pulmonary floor at Parkland Hospital, Jonathan Talaguit is responsible for staff supervision of 35 employees, including 18 nurses, 12 patient care assistants and a health unit coordinator. He supervises care of a variety of patients with intensive internal medicine needs and handles job scheduling, patient and staff relations, and clinical quality assurance. He received his Associate in Applied Sciences degree in Nursing from El Centro College in 1996 and is currently completing prerequisites toward a bachelor’s degree.