Super Star Employee: Valerie Rippey

February 25, 2019

Your name, title and department. How long have you worked here?
Valerie Rippey, RN, BSN; Inpatient staff nurse, Post Anesthesia Care Unit at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus. I have been a part of this unit for four years but part of Texas Children’s for 10 years.

Tell us how you found out you won a super star award.
I was told to attend a staff meeting during the day that was imperative to changes on our unit. When I arrived I sat in the meeting as my assistant director and manager were going over the Texas Children’s Hospital Core Values and expectations on our unit (not out of the ordinary). There was a power point presentation that went along with the meeting and then our manager asked us about anyone we would select that role models the Texas Children’s values and what it means. Before I knew it I looked up as she was saying that we have someone on our unit who exemplifies these values and staff has taken note of it and they are a “super star” on and off the unit. She changed slides and when I looked, it took me a second to realize the picture was of me!

What does it mean to be recognized for the hard work you do? How has the organization helped you achieve your personal and professional goals?
Receiving the super star award was by far the biggest surprise in my professional career. I had no idea I was receiving this award nor did I expect it. It was a great feeling knowing that those around me have noticed my extra efforts to help create a stronger team dynamic in perioperative services. My unit has undergone many changes in the last couple of years and I decided recently to become more involved and be a part of the change. My leadership has been very supportive in allowing me to be able to branch out into different roles such as charge nurse, preceptor, and retention chair for perioperative services. They have provided the flexibility in my schedule to attend hospital-wide meetings, classes and always remain an accessible and valuable resource for me. Through these roles I have been able to build relationships with my peers as well as the entire multidisciplinary team.

What do you think makes someone at Texas Children’s a super star?
There are so many super stars at Texas Children’s. I feel that no matter where you go or which campus you step in, everyone goes out of their way to make you feel welcomed. A Texas Children’s super star is someone who goes out of their way to go above and beyond to take care of our patients, families and each other on a daily basis.

What is your motivation for going above and beyond every day at work?
Each and every day I am constantly motivated by children and their families. Over the last 10 years at Texas Children’s I have been fortunate to meet some of the most resilient little humans I have ever seen in my life. The fact that I can make a difference in a child and family’s life that will last a lifetime is what keeps me pushing to be better. I believe in the mission and core values of Texas Children’s and strive to embrace them daily.

What is the best thing about working at Texas Children’s?
The best thing about Texas Children’s is the magic. The magic that happens within the walls and outside as well. If you take a step back and just watch… you’ll see it. It’s every time providers and patients hug as if they are family. It’s in every little step that is taken and created to provide each and every child the very best care. It is the genuine love, support, care and compassion that is shown through all who wear a badge with the infamous red logo. It is the pride that comes shines out of me when someone asks where I work and I reply “Texas Children’s Hospital.” This is the place where truly amazing people make magical things happen every day. We ARE Texas Children’s Hospital.

What does it mean to you that everyone at Texas Children’s is considered a leader? What is your leadership definition?
The thing about Texas Children’s is that leadership comes in all shapes and forms. It does not matter what your job description is or what letters come after your name. Leadership is a characteristic that Texas Children’s recognizes throughout the entire organization. To me leadership has nothing to do with the position or title you are holding but everything to do with your influence on others. Leadership is building relationships and giving respect before the expectation of gaining it. I feel a true leader not only adds value and success to their team but strives to build other leaders.

Anything else you want to share?
The only reason I am able to do the things I have set out to do on my unit is because I have an amazing team around me that supports, encourages, and comes together like no other department I have worked in. The staff in perioperative services at West Campus are the true super stars day in and out. I am just the lucky one who brought the attention to it. They are my family away from home and I couldn’t be more grateful to be surrounded by such an amazing team.