Name: Jan Jowitt, RN, MSA, DHA
Title: Director of Nursing
Department: Patient Care Center
How long have you worked here, and what did you do before joining UNTHSC?
My first day at UNTHSC was one of excitement and anticipation. However, those emotions were soon shadowed by a tragedy that would haunt our nation forever. I began on Sept. 11, 2001.
Before joining the UNTHSC team, I was the health administrator for a 2,500-bed men’s federal prison. I was responsible for assuring quality healthcare was provided to those incarcerated. In this closed community, I witnessed things that should not be on the spectrum for the human eye or heart. That being said, however, I learned the truth about compassion, trust, loyalty and joy. The rewards of the position far outweigh the dark pictures that are often painted in the media and movies.
What are your job duties at UNTHSC?
I have several duties at UNTHSC. I provide oversight, guidance, and support for the nurse managers and the staff of the Patient Care Center. I work in collaboration with the providers, nurses, medical assistants and staff to assure our patients receive quality healthcare. We work as a unit by searching for ways to improve our healthcare delivery system. I provide lectures to our students on universal precautions, quality assurance, documentation and injections/IV insertion. I help with student health issues by establishing and providing for student immunization clinics. I help organize our faculty and staff influenza immunization clinic. I work with local agencies to help assist with natural disasters.
What excites you most about being part of the UNTHSC family?
Our future. I believe that we are on the verge of creating a top-10 organization with premier customer-centered healthcare services, cutting edge research and advanced educational opportunities. It is exciting to observe the growth of our organization.
What do you like to do when you aren't at the Health Science Center?
When I am not at UNTHSC, I can be found on the golf course, grading papers or working in the yard. I enjoy playing golf when the weather permits—I guess you can say I am a fair-weather golfer! I hold a faculty position with Axia College and teach three online courses. I continue to study botany and landscape design. I have recently begun to create a xeriscape design for my yard to help conserve water and improve the aesthetics and curb appeal.
What about you, if anything, would surprise your peers at UNTHSC?
Not sure it would be surprising, but growing up I actually wanted to be a director of mortuary services. It takes a unique individual to create an optimistic outlook on death and the grief it leaves behind. The families and friends need to know that there exists a person or group of people who specialize in delivering information in a sensitive and dignified manner. As the old adage says: Funerals are not for the dead, they are for the living.
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