Chances are you know an Olathe Health associate who has worked here for several years, even decades. They may have advanced to different levels and/or departments. We’re honored they have chosen Olathe Health as the place to build their careers, and we’d like you to meet some of these accomplished individuals.
The Homegrown series features associates who have shown immense dedication to their own growth, as well as to Olathe Health.
Erica Duffle, MSN, has been with Olathe Health for almost 11 years. She’s now the Director of the Emergency Care and Critical Care units at Olathe Medical Center. She started at OMC as an RN in the Critical Care Unit. She moved from that position to the Nurse Manager of the Progressive Care Unit, the Interim Director of Telemetry then to her current role.
What is one accomplishment at work you are most proud of and why?
I am most proud of my current position. Starting off as a student in nursing school, with my final capstone in the CCU here, it seemed like an impossible feat. It still amazes me to think how far I have come in my career at Olathe Health. My current title is something I’m proud to tell. I still have so much to learn and look forward to my future at Olathe Health.
How has Olathe Health supported you in your career development?
Olathe Health has supported me by providing supportive leadership, developing passionate associates and admirable role models. Olathe Health is able to provide growth opportunities to associates from within. Knowing that your future can be what you make it, and for Olathe Health to believe in me and give me that opportunity, shows great investment and dedication to their associates.
What advice would you give to someone starting in your field of work?
Take time to learn the basics. Developing a solid foundation to the details of your work will benefit in ways you never thought. It is important to understand the ins and outs of not only your area but also the different positions and areas you interact with as well. This will facilitate informed decision making and allow for improvements that benefit patients across multiple areas.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the people I work with the most. Olathe Health is a friendly place to work and the ECC and CCU have top notch people. Coming from CCU, I knew the majority of the staff and was ecstatic when I was welcomed back so warmly. ECC was new territory for me, but the staff were so welcoming, and I could not have been happier.
What do you find most rewarding about working at Olathe Health?
The impact one person can have on another. Whether the impact involves a patient, their family or a fellow colleague, Olathe Health has a friendly, familiar feel. I get excited when patients come back to visit, and we get to see their progress.
What hobbies do you have outside of work?
I like to go sailing and spend time at the lake. My family has had sailboats for as long as I can remember. It can be very relaxing and lazy, or it can be exciting. It just depends on the day and the sailor’s preference, and I like that about it. I also enjoy vacationing, usually the Bahamas or skiing in Colorado.
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my two nieces. They are both playing soccer now, which is something I did through college and really enjoyed, so it’s fun watching them and playing soccer with them.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Many people know I enjoy hands-on crafty projects, such as resurfacing furniture and decorating. But most people don’t know that I also like to sew. I made my niece a flower girl dress for a family member’s wedding, and I’ve made several quilts, curtains, bedding, pillows, throw blankets, and of course, nursing my nieces’ ripped stuffed animals back to health.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Wingsuit flying or cage diving with Great White sharks. I have always had an interest in thrilling adventures and those are both on my list.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up?”
I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I have a soft spot for animals and do whatever I can to help them. I remember taking my sick guinea pig to the vet at 1 a.m., sneaking into the neighbor’s barn to play with the kittens and randomly bringing animals back home with me.