Journey to Authentic Living Blog Mini-Interview

PictureGemma Ripperton

This week JTAL shines light on Gemma C. Ripperton MSN, FNP-BC
Gemma received her Masters of Science in Nursing at University of San Diego and is board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Additionally, she has an undergraduate degree from San Diego State University, and Bachelor’s in Business Administration Gemma currently works at Scripps Hospital in San Diego, California and Emergency Department Nurse Practitioner
Industry Affiliation: State of California Representative, American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners
JTAL: What motivated you to become a nurse?
GR: I have family in the medical field.  I completed an undergraduate bio minor in college and business major. I worked in finance and banking until my first child was born prematurely at seven months.  Through the neonatal ICU experience I was motivated to relook at changing my career path after seeing the skill and compassion of the neonatal nurses, doctors and staff.  My secondary motivation was financial security and flexibility of the field.
JTAL: What type of challenges do U.S. nurses face today?
GR: As a treating nurse clinician, the increasing push for higher patient satisfaction survey scores is a challenge.  Hospital administration primarily holds clinicians responsible for the results of patient satisfaction surveys, and higher scores can be marketed by the hospital to attract more patients resulting in more revenue.  Additionally, it is proposed that these scores be tied to clinician compensation.  Unfortunately, there is often a disconnect between what some patients may expect (or feel entitled to) and what a medical provider deems is appropriate and safe for their best health outcome.  Patients may give low ratings because they didn’t get an expensive work up that was unnecessary or would have exposed them to unnecessary radiation doses (CT’s etc.). Other patients who may be chronic narcotic medication seekers may give low ratings if they don’t walk out with a prescription for narcotics despite the clinician explaining their concern for possible addiction and overdose. The clinician must remain steadfast in making medically-based treatment decisions, despite external pressures.
JTAL: Here at JTAL, we are always finding ways to help people with stress management, so can you tell us what are some positive ways you manage stress?
GR: Sleep and Leaving issues “at the office”.  Having plans for enjoyable activities on the calendar.
JTAL: Who has been an inspiration to you in the medical field?
GR: In regards to in-house (in hospital) it would be pediatric and hospice clinicians and staff.  In the actual medical field, I find emergency medical service (first responders) inspirational. You see, they are the professionals that typically provide advanced first aid level care, CPR and automated external defibrillator. They are often forgotten, but key lifesavers.
JTAL: Would you have any Health and Wellness tips to manage daily stress?
GR: Sleep. No caffeine.  Have a dietary treat every day, but don’t go overboard.  Go for a hike or even just a walk, if possible. Consider having a formal or informal spiritual base.  Do your best to make an impact, but realize others ultimately choose for themselves.   Gratitude; say thank you to the janitor and the cafeteria worker; they’re part of the team too.   Realize life is not “fair”, but it is full of lessons to learn.  Find the joy in your work, whatever it is (paid or unpaid) and focus on this.
Thank you Gemma for giving us a peak into your line of work and sharing some valuable tips to our readers.
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