Vanderbilt Nursing

Carla - Mental Health Clinic

Recognized by a Colleague

Carla, RN with Emma, RN-BC, LFMT

I wish to honor Carla G., RN as a wonderful addition to our Psychosis Team in the Department of Psychiatry.
Carla embraced a very complex project, coordinating services between the Vanderbilt Outpatient Pharmacy, Health Insurance Plans, and the Mental Health Clinic.  The sole purpose of her labors was to provide safe quality care to our patients and to uphold the Vanderbilt Policy pertaining to Medication Administration policy # 30-06-15.  Our mentally ill patients are vulnerable and their caregivers are burdened with the daily demands of their care.  Thanks to Carla's resolve to achieve this goal of safe medication administration, our patients can now obtain their medications (oral and injectable) from the Vanderbilt Pharmacy which in turn has improved medication compliance.  The project took months of tweaking, monitoring, and revising.  The psychiatrists on the team also acknowledge this great nursing achievement - Dr. Amison, Dr. Stovall, and the Department Chair, Dr. Heckers.
I am proud to stand next  to Carla as a nursing colleague!

Mental Health Clinic


Carla's Story

Emma is such a kind colleague and to be nominated is indeed an honor and I would like to extend a sincere “Thank You" to Emma.

I’ve always been pretty strong-willed and determined to succeed at anything I pursue.  Right after high school I went off to college with one major in mind and subsequently ended up changing my major to Nursing.  Once in Nursing school, I excelled in my psychiatric practical training and was told by one of my instructors that I should consider Psychiatry as a specialty.  Since entering the Nursing profession, I’ve had a career which has enriched my life for a number of years. 

I have been a Vanderbilt nurse for a number of years, working in the area of child and adolescent psychiatry, but in August 2011, I transferred from inpatient to the outpatient Adult Mental Health clinic.  My current role at VUMC is Clinic Nurse for the Psychosis team in the Mental Health Clinic.  I work with a team of physicians, a pharmacist, and a therapist in conjunction with the in-patient physicians, social workers, and researchers who all collaborate and coordinate with each other to provide the highest quality of care to those patients diagnosed with psychotic illnesses.  I am responsible for administering injections and with the transition to a new process, I have worked very closely with the TVC pharmacy staff.  With my very frequent visits and calls to the pharmacy, I have come to know most of the pharmacy staff on a first name basis, and am well known by them.  One pharmacist, Jim, refers to me as “My new best friend” (smiles).  All of the pharmacy staff have been very helpful and accommodating with this new process.  My patients also comment to me about how helpful this new process is for them.  And I must admit that I tend to swell with pride due to the favorable responses I get when I tell others that I am a “Vanderbilt Nurse."

In 2009, I was a nominee for “Nurse of the Year” at VPH and  I achieved RN3 through the VPNPP program in 2010.  I also participated in the recent Second Magnet Designation process by serving on the Magnet Committee in 2010 at PHV and also by attending an information-sharing lunch hosted by the Magnet appraisers when they visited Vanderbilt campus in 2012.  I am currently studying in preparation to take the exam for Psychiatric Nurse certification.

I live in southern Kentucky and my daily commute is often stressful and unpredictable.  I am married to my husband, Phillip, with whom I share a lovely home…along with our English bull dog, Paris.  I have one son, who is married and an accountant, and three grandchildren, all whom I love dearly, but don’t get to see as often as I would like.  My passion…are you ready for this…Kentucky Wildcat basketball!  Go Cats!!  I have always loved sports and was a cheerleader in high school. Basketball was always my favorite sport and my son is a UK graduate.  I get so excited and involved during the games that my husband and neighbor have nicknamed me “Coach Carlapari”.  (If you don’t know KY basketball, this means nothing to you).  I love all outdoor activities.  I love animals (better than I do some people…smiles),  I’m a music lover and love watching all the reality shows on TV like American Idol, X Factor, and The Voice.  I sing with a local community choir and am actively involved in my church.  My faith is very important to me and an ever-present source of my strength.

Carla, RN
Mental Health Clinic

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