Good Samaritan Hospital - February 23, 2022

Black History Month Profile

Stacie Davis, Director, 3CV East and West

During February we observe Black History Month and reflect on both the contributions of Black Americans to our nation and culture, as well as on their struggles for equality. This year’s theme is Black Health and Wellness, intended to highlight the many diverse factors that contribute to improving Black health and wellness. One of the important contributors – historically and today – are the many Black professionals in healthcare, from pioneering medical researchers to physicians, nurses and other care givers serving their communities. This month we will profile some of our Black colleagues at Good Samaritan Hospital to learn more about their work and their inspirations for undertaking a career in healthcare. 

Today we feature Stacie Davis, a nurse and the newly named Director of 3CV East and West, the cardiovascular telemetry unit at Good Samaritan Hospital. 

Q: Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. That’s just about as south as you can get. I came to San Jose as a travel nurse for dialysis in 2013. I came to Good Samaritan Hospital as a traveler, and then came on permanent staff. 

Q: Where did you get your training?

I went to nursing school at a Bishop State Community College in Alabama, then went back to school for my Bachelor of Science Nursing at Troy University. I recently got my masters from Walden University in Leadership and Management. 

Q: What led you to want a career in healthcare?

I totally wanted to be a nurse from the time I was a little girl. I have an older sister who’s close to retiring now who is a nurse. I was always with her as a little girl, and she took me and my nephew with her to her nursing classes. That was my push toward a career in healthcare, and that never changed at all. I just knew this was what I really, really wanted to do. 

Q: Who was/were your inspiration(s) as you were building your career?

Besides my sister, I had two people who were an inspiration to me: An African American director, and a manager from a different unit. They inspired me about how I could make a difference to the patient, to have the experience with the patient, because you get so much out of it that is priceless. So I’ve been inspired to keep pushing, from a CNA (certified nursing assistant) and then to a hemodialysis tech, and then a nurse. 

Q: Were there other Black role models along the way? How did those role models (or lack of them) affect your career path?

After I became a nurse, I had an African American manager, and that let me know that I could go to that height, because I could see someone else had reached it. But the lack of enough of us made me want to get to that height even more, to show even more people that there are options, and they can go as high as they want to go. 

Q: What do you do now at Good Samaritan Hospital? How does your work affect patients and their care?

I came into 3CV (cardiovascular telemetry), first as a floor nurse and then as a charge nurse. Now, I’m the director of that department, so I manage the people in the unit and the nurses on the floor. While I’m not directly working with patients, my job is to make sure they are getting what they need, to make sure everything we have in place for them is safe, to make sure they are having a great experience. If there’s equipment the staff needs for a better workflow, my job is to get it for them, and then do rounding with the nurses and front-line workers to make sure those things are working for them. 

Q: What means the most to you about your job? What do you love?

What I absolutely love about my job is that I get to affect the lives of people I come into contact with, in a positive way – and that includes employees and patients. Making that human connection, making a difference, helping employees grow and seeing the difference that makes. When I can put a smile on someone’s face, when I can meet people where they are and help them to grow in the way they need, and to feel good emotionally even when they aren’t feeling well. Really, to help them feel human. 

Q: How important is diversity in the healthcare workforce? How does greater diversity affect the patient experience?

I think diversity is very important in the healthcare workforce. For patients and employees to be able to see, not just African American employees, but other cultures that they are familiar with help our community. Having staff members walk into the room of a patient of the same ethnicity, or where they are able to speak the patient’s language, helps the patient be at ease. It improves clear communication and helps keep the patient involved in their plan of care. I see it with all cultures; when we can place patients with a nurse who speaks their primary language, it helps improve care. For employees, diversity makes working together better, as we learn about other people’s cultures and come to understand the biases that come with each of our cultures, and how to overcome them. 

Q: What would you tell a young Black woman today about choosing a career in healthcare?

I would tell her that healthcare is one of the top professions you can choose, because there are so many options for you to grow there. Understand there is no limit to it, that you can go as high as you want to go. And I would hope they see me as an example, because at first I didn’t think I could get to this level. I want to encourage others to believe that if I can do it, they can do it, too. Just focus on your work, on your schooling, and have no fear. Just go and get it.