Domanath Sharma worked at a refugee camp in Nepal as Registered Nurse for 15 years. He came to the United States in 2008 and joined Heartland Health Centers in 2014.
Ever since I started school, I was always interested in Biology. I was really keen in learning how our body functions and I had the desire to help other people. I knew if I worked in the medical field, it would fulfill that for me.
You worked in a Refugee camp as a Registered Nurse in Nepal before coming here, how was that experience?
It was a great experience, but there is a vast difference between my experiences of working there and here in the US. In Nepal, there are no strict guidelines or boundaries that will limit your role. I was licensed in midwifery, which allowed me to work as a midwife. I was also a Licensed Operating Theatre Nurse. Everyone did beyond what they can in order to provide services to people.
When you say you did beyond what you can to help people, can you give us some examples of what that might look like?
With RNs, we were able to prescribe, suture cut injuries, and perform incisions and drainage of Boils and Carbuncles. In addition to this, as a Midwife, I could give episiotomies, suture back, and deliver breech presentations. General MDs even did the Caesarean sections and appendectomies.
What did you do before you joined Heartland Health Centers?
Before joining the Heartland Health Centers I worked as an ICU Nurse.
Initially I worked in several jobs. I worked in entry level positions at O’Hare International Airport. I also worked as a patient transporter at Swedish Covenant Hospital and Northshore University Health System at Skokie.
How did you hear about Heartland Health Centers?
I was already aware that there is an organization called Heartland Alliance. I knew it was a resettling agency for refugees because I entered the US as a refugee myself. Through them, I found out about HHC and that is how I discovered the job opening for the Community Health Nurse position.
Why did you choose to work at Heartland Health Centers?
It was really fitting to my interest, which is to work with the underserved and vulnerable communities. The Providers are dedicated in providing services to those people and being a part of that team is an incredible thing to me.
What is your role at Heartland Health Centers?
I’m a community health nurse. My main role is to work with providers in providing patients with care coordination, medication refills, telephone and walk in triage. I do the chronic disease education and I also monitor medical assistants to make sure they are addressing patient concerns and they are being helped adequately. I also conduct MA competencies yearly.
Can you share one of your proudest accomplishments with HHC?
It’s helping improve the well-being of patients and bridging the gap between patients and providers and provide the optimum care they need.
Can you provide us with specific examples about proving optimum care?
With my background as a refugee and having worked in a refugee camp for one and half decades as an RN at the community level with very limited resources, I understand the sentiments of the refugees and immigrants which is why I try hard to be able to provide them with services that they need and deserve. It can be as simple as understanding and sympathizing with their experiences of historic trauma and violence or being culturally sensitive to their needs.
What is your connection to the Mission of HHC?
The ability to serve and provide care to patients with the services they need.
What do you find most rewarding about your work/or working at HHC?
Working with providers who are all well-versed in their field and the community they work. They understand patients’ concerns and issues and they address them in a manner that is very effective according to the individual needs.
What do you like most about working at HHC?
I like the team work. We collaborate with one another and ensure that our services are aligned with our mission.
How does the team work well together?
The team is cooperative and everyone pitches in to help despite our differences. We always try to identify ways to solve problems and perform our work in the most effective manner. There is always an initiative to offer help and everyone exhibits flexibility by adapting to ever-changing situations. Most importantly, we treat one another with respect and support.
What take-away message would you like to leave for our readers?
HHC is comprised with a culturally competent team and we are here to meet your medical needs. We have a very knowledgeable staff and providers that are always ready to work with you.