Paul Kangethe, MSN, RN, did not initially set out to work in a hospital. He explains what motivated his career path.
The one-time computer major had taken a class to be a certified nursing assistant on the weekends as a way to make a living while attending college. But he found a passion for working with patients and a desire to do more for them.
Now, with more than a decade of being a registered nurse at Keck Medicine of USC, Kangethe spends his days doing what he loves as a nurse in the 5 West cardiothoracic ICU at Keck Hospital of USC.
Kangethe more spoke about his job.
What is a typical day as a nurse like?
My days are very dynamic because I never actually know what I’m going to be walking into.
I wear different hats, sometimes as the primary nurse, a resource nurse, a relief charge nurse or even as a nurse preceptor, training the new nurses that come through the unit.
I like that I am able to help in so many different ways and I love that I still can provide direct patient care.
What might people not know about you?
I have a master’s degree in nursing administration, so I have considered doing administrative work.
I participate in several projects and committees around the hospital and for the unit, always with a focus on improving processes and making things easier for my fellow nurses.
But pulling myself away from direct patient care would be a challenge because I love what I do.
I also was the 2017 Nurse of the Year and the 2018 Nurse Humanitarian of the Year for Keck Medical Center of USC.
Do you have any advice for potential nurses?
Nursing takes a lot of patience. But if you are truly passionate about nursing, it’s the most fulfilling job you could have.
You have to be inquisitive and flexible, which I know can be challenging for a lot of newer nurses.
When you see a patient get admitted with a critical condition and then two, three, or four days later, you see them leave the ICU because of the help you’ve been able to provide, that is an incredible motivator to keep coming back to the job.