About Children's

Patricia L. Giampa, RN

Patricia L. Giampa, RN

Director, Acute Care Nursing and Quality

How long have worked at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC an as a nurse?
I've practiced nursing for 26 years and my entire career has been with Children's.

Briefly describe your current role in Children's nursing leadership.
As the clinical director of acute care nursing and quality, I am responsible for the facilitating, directing, and organizing of clinical department operations to assure the delivery of quality patient care. Also, as a Quality Specialist, I work to plan, develop, implement and monitor initiatives related to patient care, quality improvement, regulatory agency compliance, accreditation and patient safety.

Where did you earn your nursing degree?
I earned a bachelor's of science degree in nursing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Do you have any advanced degrees?
I earned a master's of public management degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

At what point in your life did you know you wanted to become a nurse and why?
My father wanted his daughters to become nurses so they would always have employment and would be able to take care of themselves. Since he was willing to support me and I didn't really have any better ideas, I agreed with the understanding that if, after graduation, I found out nursing wasn't for me, he would help me financially to study what I was interested in. Three months into my first job here at Children's on a neurosurgical unit, I was hooked and never looked back.

What did you enjoy the most while working as a bedside nurse?
Patient and family interaction. You can really make a difference in a person's life... sometime in little ways and sometimes in life and death ways.

In your opinion, what's the hardest thing for a new nurse to learn?
I think that it takes time and experience for a nurse to understand the impact everything she or he does around or with the patient is important. Walking into a room, making eye contact and having the aura of being in control (even when sometimes you aren't) can immediately connect you to your patient and family. Likewise, we are human and our patients are human with all the emotions and fragilities that go with it. Understanding and never forgetting that we are all from the same spirit is sometimes the only roadmap we have to work from.

What makes working with children so rewarding/fulfilling?
Their honesty and the fact that they live for the moment. A child may have a life-threatening illness but if the pain is controlled, they play. Adults will tell you how bad their pain was and how bad it will be in the future... they won't play because the pain will be back.

What's the best part of your current job?
I know that what I do impacts the lives of others. Not as directly as if I were at the bedside doing hands-on care, but my work enables quality health care for those who need it.

What are your interests outside of nursing?
I love to fly, I was a private pilot before starting my family; sports — spectator or participant, snow skiing and horseback riding are among my top favorites; traveling and being a wife and mother.

Last Update
January 8, 2014
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Last Update
January 8, 2014