We recently caught up with Heather Grondin, our Director of Nursing at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital-Bradford, who joined the Whittier team in July. Heather became a nurse’s aide in 2001 and a Registered Nurse in 2007. Her clinical experience includes cardiac care, critical care, and in-home infusions. She has been called a “nurse’s nurse” because she takes pride in training the clinical staff and connecting with people in the way they need, with empathy.

Although she’s the face of the Bradford nursing department and all it encompasses, she is currently focused on training and retaining new nurses. The culture of healthcare has become increasingly difficult for nurses and new graduates in particular. Heather says: “Whittier is changing that narrative by committing to caring for our caregivers.

Whittier specializes in new graduate training

Recent graduates receive orientation for three full months, and all new employees work with our two nurse educators. By assessing foundational knowledge, each new nursing hire receives instruction tailored to their individual needs. 

Approximately 80% of recent graduates have stayed at Bradford for two or more years, receiving extensive hands-on training with complex-care patients, including those with tracheostomies and ICU-level care. Heather says: “Our in-house rehab patients are generally awake, alert, and oriented; as such, they receive the full spectrum of care from general and specialized medicine, nursing, and therapy and care from other adjunct disciplines.

New nursing grads at Bradford have access to an array of valuable skills and clinical experiences not necessarily put into practice in nursing school or clinical rotations. A shift supervisor is always available to teach and assist nurses with assigned patients. Through this practical experience, new grads become proficient in skills like gaining and maintaining IV access and interventions for significant clinical events. 

Heather says: “Our commitment to staff training doesn’t stop there. Continuing education is encouraged, and we guide our nurses toward the clinical education they are most interested in. We provide opportunities throughout the year for CEUs, including those required by Massachusetts law.“

Bradford’s record of safety for staff and patients

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed how the world does healthcare. Mitigation measures in Whittier facilities were more successful than elsewhere, maintaining the health of both staff and patients. The public and medical professionals received confusing, often conflicting, information about managing the virus. Despite the disagreements in the guidance provided by WHO and CDC, Dr. Liguori, MD, MRM, who is the Medical Director at Bradford, used his years of experience and sound clinical practice to guide decisions made from within which proved to be very successful in maintaining a facility that has remained virtually COVID-free without any major outbreak over the past 2 years.

Heather Grondin, Director of Nursing at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital-Bradford, on staff training and continuing edEvery voice matters at Bradford

At Bradford, our team members are encouraged to share their opinions and ideas. Heather Grondin was hired at Whittier in July and ensures both clinical and non-clinical staff are fully supported; there is a suggestion box so everyone can be heard. Heather wants the facility staff to know their contributions and suggestions matter. 

“Everyone knows that hospitals everywhere promise new staff everything but deliver less than they offer…please don’t take my word for it; talk to our people,” says Heather.

Benefits and perks at Bradford

WHN’s Employee Achievement Bonus program was established for full- and part-time employees to recognize and reward initiative, productivity, competence, and superior contributions to overall goal achievement. Recognition of our employees brings achievements in education, productivity, and creative problem-solving to the forefront. We’re proud to offer robust certification and advancement opportunities.

Eligible employees receive PTO, including a bonus holiday, the choice to opt-in to company-subsidized health and dental plans after 60 days of employment, and a 401(k) Retirement Plan. 

We’re expanding our team of professional nurses

At Whittier, we’re looking for enthusiastic candidates to provide compassionate care in an acute rehab hospital setting. See why our patients rate us at 4.8 stars.

If you are looking for a nursing position, take a tour of the building and see first-hand how the staff interact with each other and with patients.

In the photo above, Heather with the clinical team, from left to right: Emily Martin- QA RN, Brittany Lomanno- Nurse Educator/ Clinical Placement Coordinator, Heather Grondin, Candra Croteau- Nurse Educator/ Clinical Practice Expert, Laurie Richard- RN Documentation Specialist.

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