Why I Love My Job

Judson A. Rhodes, RN, BSN

Job: Clinical manager, cardiovascular care unit, Gwinnett Medical Center, Lawrenceville

What I do: "I oversee the day-to-day operations of the CVC [cardiovascular open heart surgery unit]. Our unit consists of 18 total beds, with eight for ICU and 10 for stepdown/telemetry patients."

Best part of the job: "The ability to positively impact so many people's lives in the community in which I live. Our patients are often admitted in critical condition. We have the opportunity to intervene quickly and help get them on the road to recovery - hopefully for many more years to spend with their families.

"Support for family members from our staff is also vital. Information and education are the keys in helping to alleviate the family and patients - fear of the unknown."

How I got into this: "I began my nursing career in 1997. I have specialized in critical care my entire career, with the last 10 years in cardiovascular nursing. In my career I have had multiple roles, from staff RN to charge RN, to clinical educator and, finally, my current role as clinical manager.

"I have lived in Gwinnett County for many years but practiced primarily in surrounding area hospitals. I came to Gwinnett Medical Center in January of 2012 specifically to be a part of the open heart surgery program that GMC was building. Looking at the quality of people on this team, from the surgeons, nurses and everyone involved, I knew that this was something that I wanted to be a part of. I feel that having an administration that is dedicated to building a program of excellence is equally important and makes this a very attractive place for me to continue my career. This CVC unit at GMC is a place where I enjoy working and hope to continue here for many years to come."

Most challenging part: "Keeping a balance between work and home life."

What people don't know about my job: "The amount of work behind the scenes that is involved in keeping a cardiovascular care unit running smoothly."

What keeps me going: "The challenge of helping a program of excellence grow from the ground up."

Preparation needed: "Bachelor of Science in nursing.

Salary: The median salary for nurse clinical managers in metro Atlanta is $93,981, according to salary.com.

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Compiled by John Brieske, Pulse managing editor. Got a health care job that you love? Please send email to jbrieske@ajc.com.