Psychiatry

SPOTLIGHT: Andrea Rayner

Adult Crisis Unit and ECT Manager

Andrea Rayner started with Nebraska Medicine in Geriatric Psychiatry in July 1999. In 2003, Nebraska Medicine opened a small 10-bed adult unit, and Andrea was hired for that unit. After working on her masters, she became the unit manager for ACU and ECT in 2004.

What do you enjoy about working with the ACU and ECT?
I enjoy many aspects of working on the ACU and in ECT. The staff is great and we have terrific teamwork. Many of us have worked so long together that we have awesome relationships. We are able to trade off difficult assignments and there is a feeling of accomplishment each and every day. We have some of the highest Press Ganey survey results in the hospital even with a difficult patient population. Our patients will run up and hug us in other areas of the hospital when they see us! I feel that I am a part of a team that provides extraordinary care. I try to lead by example. I’m not afraid to jump in and help with patient care. I keep my feet wet and practice my nursing skills every other day in ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). I love seeing the patients getting better. Sometimes, I feel like I’m too busy and I try to give up working in ECT but I miss it too much. We build relationships with these patients and their families and they rely on our smiling faces when they come for their treatments.

What do your jobs entail?
Besides my managerial job duties, the jobs I enjoy entail taking care of the patients. On the ACU I lead groups explaining patient rights, teaching as well as assisting with discharge planning to the patients. I basically help with whatever the staff needs me to help with. In ECT I have more of a direct role in patient care. I assist with vital signs, starting IVs (I’m not very good), accessing ports, performing all of the duties in the treatment room, assisting with anesthesia as well as admitting and discharging patients.

Why did you go into the area of Psychiatry?
I went into Psychiatry because I have always been fascinated with mental illness. I tend to see the good in people and I think it is interesting to meet people who have overcome diversities or who are in a difficult spot recover quickly and get back on with their lives. I have good communication skills, I am approachable and it called out to me. I’ve always been a good listener and a quiet, shy person and perhaps that has helped me in my career choice. I won the Daisy Award twice which was completely unexpected. I felt that I was simply doing my job but somehow I made a connection with some special people along the way.

What are some of your hobbies?
Not much time for that! Two middle schoolers, Husker football, reading, concerts, pets and whatever else life throws at me that week

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