DWM nurse Hillman right where he belongs
He is not new to the medical field. He was a paramedic for 10 years and said he knew that he liked the work he was doing.
“I always thought I wanted to do something in the medical profession,” Hillman said. “I liked working on the ambulance but I really wanted to do more. The hours were not too good and it seemed as if I was always away from my family. I wanted to stay in the medical field and I was already trained in an emergency position so, I already had some of the training behind me.”
Hillman said that he decided to go into nursing and while he was going through the nursing program at Jefferson Davis Community College, he was still able to work. He graduated from nursing school in 1997 and was hired onto the nursing staff at the hospital.
“I loved nursing school,” Hillman said. “I worked in the Emergency Room for five years. I decided to go back to school and get into the management end of the medical profession. I am now one of five unit managers in the hospital. My main places to work are in intensive care and the medical/surgical unit.”
Hillman said that most of the time he works in management but sometimes he works as a staff nurse.
“I do a lot of clinical work, or hands-on jobs, and I like working that way,” Hillman said. “It all depends on how many nurses are on duty. If they need me, I work as a staff nurse.”
Although he stays really busy with the work he is doing now, Hillman is still interested in getting his master’s degree.
“I thought that I should probably go ahead and get my degree,” he said. “I went to JDCC first and can later transfer to Auburn University at Montgomery to get my master’s degree in nursing.”
With a master’s degree, Hillman can expand his options should he ever want to go into management on a higher level, or even teaching should he want to.
A day in Hillman’s working life usually begins at 6 a.m. and he keeps busy for most of the day.
“Three times a week we get together where we discuss all of the cases that are in each department,” he said. “We get a chance to look at the whole picture on all of our patients. Right now we have about 68 patients and we are licensed for 91. That is a trend in hospitals right now. The patient number is down, not only here but in other hospitals as well. I don’t know just how the new national health plan will affect us yet, but some things are bound to change.”
Hillman said he loves what he does as a nurse.
“I can’t imagine doing anything else than what I am doing,” he said. “I would never have believed that I would ever be where I am today.
“I met my wife through my work, too. I met (Dr.) Elizabeth Bataglia and we were married 12 years ago. She is practicing in Flomaton with Dr. Van Landingham. We have one son who is 10, and I have a daughter who is a junior in high school.”