Melanie Smith Walsh joined Protiviti Dallas in 2008 after graduating from Texas Tech University. After nearly four years working as a Senior Consultant in the healthcare practice, Melanie left Protiviti to go to nursing school. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University, Melanie joined Children’s Health Hospital in 2017 as a Registered Nurse in pediatric cardiology. Connect with Melanie on LinkedIn.
On the personal journey that led Melanie to nursing:
“Because I was born with a congenital heart disease, I spent a lot of time in hospitals early on in life. As a result. I initially had zero desire to go into medicine. But when I was working at Protiviti in the healthcare group, I discovered a passion for patient care and working with the parents and families. After nearly four years of healthcare consulting, I decided to make a career change and go back to school. Now, I’m in pediatric cardiology and loving every minute of it!”
On making the big switch from the corporate world to nursing:
“It wasn’t an easy to decision to leave Protiviti. My team was very close knit and so it was honestly just a lot of reflection and asking myself, what do I really want to do? What’s my passion? There were definitely moments of uncertainty when I was back in school, like what am I doing?
I went from having a very regular, yet flexible, schedule to working holidays and sometimes nights. So the decision wasn’t something I took lightly, but ultimately I knew it was the best move for me so that I could serve others.”
On choosing pediatric cardiology:
“Going into nursing, I knew that pediatrics made the most sense for me because of my own experience having had a congenital heart condition as a kid. Remembering my own experience and talking with my family now about what they went through while I was in the hospital made it a very easy decision for me. I have a lot of empathy for the families and patients. I did briefly work in neuro critical care ICU for adults, but there’s something great about being able to care for children.”
On the best part of working in pediatrics:
“Most of our patients are infants and don’t have families that can be there at all times. Getting to be there for the patients and comfort them is the best part of my job. Holding them is my absolute favorite. It makes my night. If the parent is there, I’m happy to support them and their family. I let them know we’re doing everything we can and if they need anything, we are easily accessible. Typically, I’m right outside of their door. I want them to feel like they have a support system while they are here.
Being able to slow down and take care of the patients and families, you can really make a huge impact. It’s why I got into nursing. Having been a patient myself, I don’t feel that was my experience.”
On carrying professionalism learned at Protiviti into nursing:
“I will forever and always be thankful for my career at Protiviti. Not only did I meet my husband, a fellow Protiviti alum, but it taught me how to multitask, stay organized and operate in a fast-paced environment. I walked away from Protiviti with a level of professionalism that I still carry today. It sounds simplistic, but nursing school classes are not necessarily teaching you to operate in a business world even though healthcare is a business. I will always be grateful for the business knowledge I learned at Protiviti as a healthcare professional because I understand the impacts and implications that others in my position may not.”
Who should be featured in the next Alumni Spotlight? Let us know at Alumni@Protiviti.com!