Friday Q&A with Kathy Bell

As I finish out a long, but really good week of SANE training in IL, I am pleased to present another midwesterner for your weekly Q&A. Kathy Bell is the Tulsa, OK coordinator, and someone with whom I have had the pleasure of working for many years now. I'm thrilled she agreed to share with us this morning, so without further ado...

I've been a SANE since: 1994. A nurse since 1974.

Hospital or community-based program? Community

I'm a SANE because: I know I am making a difference. I still get to use all those skills I spent the first 20 years of my career developing.

The best advice someone ever gave me was: A SANE approach should provide

  • Genuine compassion
  • Safety
  • Trust
  • High regard
  • Confidence

I think this can be used not only in working with patients but also when working with your staff.

A skill every SANE should have is: staying focused on how everything that they do might impact the patient they are caring for

A skill every program coordinator should have is:
Flexibility and staying focused on the important stuff, not sweating the small stuff

More money or more staff? More money. I never thought I would live long enough to say I have enough staff for now. If I get more money I can develop more programs and then the answer will change to more staff.

I wish someone had told me when I was first starting out: to look for stable funding to develop other forensic nursing programs.

My most indispensable resource is:
The group of nurses that I work with.

My strong suit is: Pulling a group of individuals together for a united cause even if they don't have the same agendas.

I would rather eat glass than: Be told I can't do something until I have at least tried it

I take care of myself by: Trusting the nurses I work with and having a sense of humor. And I like to quilt.

It will be time to do something else when:
I feel like I am no longer making a difference.

In 10 years I would like to be: Past potty training

Words of advice for a struggling SANE program coordinator?
Know that the ones of us that have been doing this for a long time probably at one point struggled with the same issue/situation. There are lots of opportunities to access each other so use that resource. Lots of times just talking it out takes a monster situation and puts it into perspective.

[BTW: Now that we've had 4 weeks of these conversations, perhaps you're starting to see some patterns emerge?]