Meet our Inpatient Unit-Based Educator
By Christie Roy
Kim Maloof, RN, has cared for many patients in her 14 years as a nurse — a career to which she never really gave a second thought.
"I remember taking care of people even when I was little," she says. "And, my mom's five sisters were all nurses, so it kind of runs in the family."
Kim joined the Weight Loss Surgery team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center about nine months ago as the Unit-Based Educator on Farr 9, the floor where bariatric patients are cared for immediately after surgery. She has been at BIDMC for 10 years now, previously working with transplant surgery patients and in labor and delivery.
"I was ready to make some changes," Kim says of her new-ish role. "I missed working with surgical patients. As a unit-based educator, I get to train new nurses, and get really involved in the nursing curriculum and how we take care of the bariatric surgery patients."
Before coming to BIDMC, Kim taught as a clinical instructor at UMass Boston, where she also went to school. There, she found herself teaching a handful of young students everything she knew about being a nurse.
"You try to teach everything that you see," she says. "I love to educate, and in the past I've really been 'molding' new nurses, but now I also get to work with a lot of more established nurses. It can be a challenge, but everyone here is so friendly and we all stand up for each other."
Here at BIDMC, Kim works hard to make sure all the nurses on her floor stay up-to-date on policies and procedures regarding patient care. A very thorough person by nature, she puts together an education binder for everyone to study and reference, and sends out monthly newsletters to the nurses with new information and tips to remember.
"Everyone has their own way of doing things, but it's important for me to teach what I see, to follow up on any errors and to make sure everyone understands what went wrong and how we can avoid it the next time," Kim says. "We've all been there and we just try to work through it together."
When she's not busy at BIDMC, Kim stays busy at home doing schoolwork — she's just a few classes away from earning her Master's degree in nursing education and received a BIDMC Nursing Scholarship earlier this year — as well as cooking (and eating) new recipes, and caring for her nearly three-year-old daughter.
"She's starting pre-school soon and is involved in dancing school, so it's a fun time," Kim says with a smile of her little girl.
Kim and her co-workers are quick to blend their home and work lives, planning frequent get-togethers and enjoying the added camaraderie it fosters.
"Everyone brings their families and we just have fun," Kim says. "We're having a pool party next week!"
Kim appreciates the closeness of the Farr 9 nursing team and the fact that she has seen so many positive outcomes in the time she has worked with bariatric surgery patients. She points out that these patients only spend a few days on the floor (the amount of time varies depending on the procedure), but knows that she and the other nurses have an impact on them as they take their first steps after surgery, begin following their new diet plan, and transition into this new phase of their lives.
"Patients come back to the floor to say hello and thank us, and we won't recognize them at first due to their weight loss," Kim says. "But it's great. It's nice to know you've made a difference in someone's day, in someone's life."