For Ursula Linne-Mclaren, nursing and taking care of others is a calling, and she has built a new family of patients and co-workers at UC San Diego Health System.
As a case manager, she helps patients suffering from cancer at Moores Cancer Center. If they are feeling sick, she will give them a call. If they are hungry, she gets them a snack. When they need a prescription filled, she walks to the pharmacy to make sure they have the drugs they need when they leave their appointment.
“I treat my patients like they are super special, like they are family because that is how I would want to be treated,” Linne-Mclaren said.
In addition to offering a personal touch, Linne-Mclaren is happy she belongs to an institution that offers the latest medical treatments. The doctor who she works for, Peter Curtin, will not rest until he can offer patients the latest and best treatments, she said. With his help, she has worked with insurance companies to make sure new drugs on the market are made available to her patients.
“I liked UC San Diego because it is a teaching hospital,” Linne-McLaren said. “That means we have the latest and best standards of care and I am proud to be part of that. As a Magnet designated health system, the nurses here are a higher caliber. We have higher standards that we hold ourselves accountable for.”
She shares this caring attitude with her co-workers. “If you are having a bad day, someone will give you a hug. We take care of each other.”
The nurse, who graduated from nursing school in 1987, has maintained relationships with some of her patients for many years.
“We get to see the results of the work that we do every day-a mom who is able to go to her kids’ graduation or a dad seeing a new grandchild being born. Patient survival varies following stem cell transplant. Some of our patients remain cancer-free for only a few months, and others stay in a remission for the rest of their lives. For them every day is a total gift. This is why I am here. My patients teach me every day is a gift and you have to be thankful for everything you get every day. That is why I love it.”