Exemplifying Passion and Compassion in the Cardiac Care Unit with Kim Tyk

Stories in: Nursing , Advanced Practice

A good nurse isn’t just someone who shows up for the job, it’s someone who is compassionate, detail-oriented, eager to learn, and empathetic. It takes passion to push through the exhausting moments that come with the job; without it, it’s hard to make nursing a lasting career.

Kim Tyk is fueled by that passion every day. Since 2013, right after receiving her Master of Nursing, Kim has been a nurse on the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU). Before she joined the team, she started volunteering at Children’s Memorial Hospital, and once the big move happened she had the opportunity to shadow in the CCU and meet all of the doctors and nurses she would soon work alongside.

Although nursing was never on her radar while she was growing up, Kim always knew she wanted to work with kids. That drive–mixed with her eagerness to learn, multiple degrees, and her caring personality–is why Kim is in the position she is today.

We sat down with Kim to find out what it takes to be a good nurse and why Lurie Children’s is the best place for a career in nursing. Here’s what she had to say!


Why is Lurie Children’s the best place for a career in nursing?


What really drew me to Lurie Children’s was the new graduate RN program. They're very supportive of their nurses–I don’t know of any other program like it, that supports nurses the first year-and-a-half of their career. One thing that really sticks out is how we partner with our care team. We have a really great level of mutual respect, not only with our physicians but our occupational therapist, physical therapist, dietitians, and leadership. You don't see that level of respect at other institutions and it’s something that families pick up on, and it makes you feel like a valued member of the team. Lurie Children’s is a great place to grow and get involved in different aspects of nursing.


What does “providing the highest quality of care” mean to you?


Providing the highest quality of care starts with having qualified people giving that care, which comes down to not just having a degree but having training. It means pushing the limits and trying new things and taking risks to do things that other institutions aren't willing to try. It also involves using evidence-based practice for the care we give, so we can provide reasons behind what we're doing for our kids. Beyond the knowledge and the work, when you work with kids giving quality care is really about that relationship-based care and remembering that while they may be sick, they don't really think they're sick and we still have to treat them as kids.


What’s your favorite memory you’ve made with your team?


One of my favorite things that I've experienced is helping take care of one of our patients; I was one of the primary nurses for a 15-month-old little girl that we had in the hospital for over 300 days. Our care team partnered so well with that family and so well the nursing staff, her parents actually started a nonprofit with Lurie Children's within the last year called the Little Heroes League. Seeing them look at us as family when they come back, knowing that she's in safe hands when she's here, and knowing that my attendings care for her as much as I do–that's been a really nice team moment. We're really proud of her and her family.


What advice would you give to someone looking to join your team?


I would tell people who are looking to work at Lurie Children's that they need to go above and beyond; we try to hire people that do that in the workplace. If you were in school and that's all you did, then that's not really setting you apart from other people that are applying, so really try to expand your resume. If you want to work with kids, start working with kids while you're in school. When it comes to working with my team and on my unit, we've made a list of our core values that we’re looking for in the people who join our team. We call ourselves a CCU family, and we like to be warm and fuzzy and support each other.


What are the Cardiac Care Unit Values?


The CCU Core Values are: Kind, Adaptable, Eager to Learn, Smart, Authentic, and Accountable. Those are the values that we as a unit believe are the most important to us. Our nursing director really worked a lot with our managers to create these values that we use to guide our hiring.


If your values align with these and you have a passion for pediatric nursing, apply today and join our team!