Mar 14, 2022 / Spotlight

Get to Know our Staff: Alex Hernandez, Rheumatology and Amanda Kundert, Inpatient Nursing Unit

Congratulations to Alex and Amanda on being named two of D Magazine's 2022 Excellence in Nursing honorees!
What is your job title/your role at Scottish Rite for Children?  
Alex - I am the ambulatory care clinical manager for the Rheumatology department and the ambulatory care clinic tech manager. I serve the nurses, physicians and nurse practitioners of the Rheumatology team, as well as the ambulatory care clerk tech team by planning, evaluating and adjusting practices to fit our patient’s needs.
Amanda - I serve as a registered nurse and a charge nurse on the Inpatient Unit.  
What inspired you to become a nurse? 
Alex - The desire to serve and care for those in need inspired me to become a nurse. I get to live out my faith daily by providing excellent, personalized care to everyone under my charge.
Amanda - My mom inspired me to become a nurse. A few years ago, my mom had a big health scare, and the nurses who cared for her gave her the confidence she needed to keep going and not give up. Seeing the way those nurses provided intentional and uplifting care inspired me to become a nurse and hopefully make the same impact on other people’s lives.
What led you to Scottish Rite for Children? 
Alex - Prior to making the decision to follow my calling to become either a teacher, counselor or a nurse, I had the privilege of working for a property and casualty company for six years. I helped people with their home, auto and life insurance needs. I joined the Scottish Rite family in 2000, where I worked at the registration desk and worked my way through nursing school.
Amanda - I have always had a passion for helping people and working with children. When I learned about Scottish Rite and the amazing work this organization does on a daily basis, I knew there was no other place I wanted to work.
What does a typical day in your week look like?  
Alex - During a typical workday in Ambulatory Care, I ensure that the members of our clinical team have what they need to take care of our patients and their families. When opportunities for improvement come up, I communicate with patient families as well as other departments within the organization to facilitate progress. I have the opportunity to assist in coordinating processes to develop the best experience possible for our patients and staff. I enjoy passing out smiles, treats and support all while offering a listening ear to those I get to serve.
Amanda - No two days are identical on the Inpatient Unit. I love that every day is different and challenges me in unique ways. When I take care of patients, I try and focus on making sure all their needs are met, their pain is well-controlled and that they see the necessary interdisciplinary teams before safely discharging home. When I am the charge nurse, I try to help my peers when they need help with their patient loads, along with completing organizational tasks and working to make sure everyone has a good day on the unit. 
How do you help your patients feel comfortable and confident
Alex - Our patients and their families enjoy one-on-one support. One of the most valuable gifts we can offer is the gift of time. It is through that time that I can best provide comfort and confidence to anyone who is feeling anxious, nervous or unsure of themselves.
Amanda - On a daily basis, one of my biggest goals is to make all of my patients feel confident and comfortable. I encourage my patients to push through the hard times and step outside of their comfort zones. When I have a patient complete a challenging task, I always make sure to tell them how proud I am of them. I like for my patients to feel included in their care and activities, so prior to beginning any task, I talk with the patient and explain why we are doing something.
Who/what are your biggest influences in your career? And why? 
Alex - The biggest influences in my career have been my parents. My parents immigrated to the United States in search of a better life. They taught me the value of working hard, obtaining an education and never forgetting where our family came from. I see their faces in every person I interact with. Therefore, I seek to speak to everyone with respect, honor the person for who they are and hopefully provide a nurturing moment.  
Amanda - There are so many people who have positively influenced me thus far in my career, and I am truly so grateful to each one of them. One of the biggest influences in my career has been Teresa Brimer, my clinical manager on the Inpatient Unit. Teresa has encouraged me, mentored me and challenged me to look at the big picture and think critically while also maintaining a servant heart.
What is the most memorable moment for you (throughout your career) and how has it impacted you? 
Alex - The most memorable portions of my professional career have been the struggles and obstacles throughout my journey from the registration desk to my current role. Each and every struggle has provided me with the strength to become the person my faith leads me to be.
Amanda - I think working at Scottish Rite has positively impacted me as an individual as well as a nurse. Scottish Rite has given me the tools to continually learn while allowing me to spread my wings in my career. 
What is your favorite part of your job? 
Alex - Robert Ingersoll said, “We rise by lifting others.” Being part of the professional and personal growth of others is a favorite part of my job. I enjoy creating an environment where others thrive.
Amanda - There are many things I love about my job. Specifically, I love getting to know our patients and their families. I also love who I work with, as individuals as well as coworkers. My co-workers, our patients and their families are what make Scottish Rite special to me.
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working? 
Alex - My favorite thing to do when I’m not working is to spend time with my wonderful crazy, family. We can laugh, cry, argue and love on each other all at the same time!
Amanda - When I am not at work, I love to spend time with my family and friends. I also love to travel when I am able. 

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