UVMHN Employee Spotlight: Meet Carissa Reome, RN at The Alice Center!
Published March 18, 2024

The University of Vermont Health Network and our partner affiliates, including the Alice Center, are staffed with dynamic teams of nurses and clinicians–all committed to providing unparalleled, compassionate care for our patients, residents, and their families.


Carissa Reome, RN, is proud of the care she provides residents at the Alice Center. Our Network was fortunate to speak with Carissa about her experience, moving up the nursing ladder at the Alice Center and Alice Hyde. Her path to becoming a registered nurse began with us at the Alice Center eight years ago. Carissa’s determination to provide top-quality care while supporting her colleagues continues to inspire us at UVMHN.

How long have you been working at the Alice Center, and what is your position there?

CARISSA: I have been working here since October 2015. Right now I’m an RN, but I started as a CNA at the Alice Center. I was a CNA here for three years, and then I was an LPN for another three years, and now I’m an RN.


What initially made you want to become a nurse?

CARISSA: I didn’t even know if I wanted to become a nurse at the beginning. I was completing the Boces Tech program through my high school, got my certification as a CNA and applied to work at the Alice Center. As I worked there during my senior year of high school, I absolutely fell in love with the level of care I witnessed. I loved the atmosphere of the Alice Center. I learned that I loved providing care for patients and felt supported by my coworkers, so that experience ultimately inspired me to continue my journey in nursing and go to college for my LPN. 


Why did you choose to work at the Alice Center over other healthcare facilities? What’s different or special about working there?

CARISSA: When I got my RN, I started at Med Surg at Alice Hyde. However when I saw a part-time RN position available at the Alice Center, I knew I had to go back. I missed my coworkers. It’s just a supportive environment from all angles, from everyone. The residents are great. Management and leadership have our backs. They listen to us, always encouraging us to pursue our goals here and striving to make us feel heard. Our team is always available for support…and it is really, really nice to feel heard.


Do you work part-time at the Alice Center?

CARISSA: Yes, I work part-time as an RN here at the Alice Center, and I pick up extra shifts as needed. I also still work at Alice Hyde in Med Surg, per diem.


Would you recommend working at Alice Hyde to new nurses entering the workforce? Why or why not?

CARISSA: I definitely would. First of all, like I said, the management here is so supportive and also flexible. For example if an emergency comes up and someone has to call in, there are no questions about it. Everyone is so understanding, they know family is most important when things come up. School is important, too, and leadership makes that clear to us from the beginning. They understand that nurses do have lives outside of work, and if we do pick up more time of course they’re grateful, but they’re not irritated or make us feel guilty when you can’t. At other healthcare facilities, I feel like it’s such a stressful environment when there’s so much overtime, and when people don’t always pick up that overtime, there’s usually that underlying pressure. Here, we never get repercussions for showing up for our lives outside of work, too, and knowing we have that flexibility is great – especially in nursing.


In what other ways do you feel supported at work?

CARISSA: Working here can get stressful. Sometimes there can be two RNs per floor, with around 50 patients on the first and also the second floor, then around 12 patients on the 3rd floor. When things get chaotic, like if we have falls or emergency situations, it’s a relief to know I can always rely on the other RN in the building with me. Always. They’re always willing to help out, and vice versa, no matter what the situation.


How about management? Do you also feel supported by leadership at the Alice Center?

CARISSA: I feel the same about management and department leaders. It’s important that we trust one another. They go out of their way to help us manage our stress and not get overwhelmed. For example, if any of us is feeling overwhelmed or we’re having an extra busy day, management will say something like, “Hey, don’t worry about doing your medicare notes. We’ll take care of that,” or, “We’ll get that done today, you take off.” They’ll pick up the slack as we all help each other out. It’s amazing to have that support from both sides, from my colleagues and my peers, and especially from leadership.


Do you have any notable memories from your time working at the Alice Center?

CARISSA: This was a long time ago, probably around 2017 or 2018, and I think I was still a CNA at the time…but we had a ‘Code Red,’ a fire alarm, and we had to evacuate all the residents of the building. It was just so remarkable because nurses and other clinicians who weren’t working that day heard the call, and they immediately arrived at the building, came in, and assisted with caring for residents until the ‘Code Red’ was cleared. I’ll never forget that. That’s actually a perfect example of how everyone is here to help, and when necessary, all hands are on deck. Just knowing that everyone is so close by, too, gives me that extra feeling of security on the job.


What do you believe are the top benefits of working at the Alice Center?

CARISSA: I would say one of the top benefits is that we get pay raises frequently. They never forget about anyone. They give us all the raises that we should get, and we do have our union, too. So yes - the money and pay has always been good. Another benefit would definitely be having such a structured, supportive environment at our workplace. For example, we recently got a new director of nursing. She has flipped our organization’s whole management style and I think she has made a tremendous difference in the building. So we are more structured now, there are new and improved policies, so if there is any kind of dispute between staff it’s settled then and there. Management will not let internal issues such as those draw out. We’re in this together, as a team.


If the Alice Center at UVMHN was a car, what kind of car would it be and why?

CARISSA: It would definitely be a Jeep Wrangler. The Alice Center is ready to tackle anything, it’s sturdy, and we’ve gotten through, above, and over multiple obstacles over the years…it’s a very reliable work environment.

Are you interested in building a fulfilling healthcare career by providing compassionate care in a supportive environment? Join Carissa and our team of devoted nursing professionals by exploring opportunities across our Network at https://www.uvmhealthnetworkcareers.org/.

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