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Director of nursing sees positive road ahead...

Ever since Noel Madsen came to Kenmare in late June, the wheels have been turning in her mind.

10/03/17 (Tue)

Ever since Noel Madsen came to Kenmare in late June, the wheels have been turning in her mind.

Madsen, the director of nursing for the Kenmare Community Hospital, has been thinking about positive changes that have been and can be made to the hospital and clinic.

She has implemented several changes already to make it more efficient for the staff and more pleasant for patients and residents of swing bed.

But that’s how she rolls. Her registered nurse experience has been in progressive care and in trauma services at Trinity Hospital in Minot before she replaced Laura Johnson who left in June.

Madsen, who lives in Burlington, describes how she landed the Kenmare job.

Her husband’s family farm is 10 miles north of Kenmare and was owned by the late Audrey and Victor Madsen with sons Steve and Marvin now operating it.

“I was in a meeting and somebody said Kenmare needed someone helping out,” she said. “I made the comment that I’d retire here and here I was a week later.”

Her own roots are also here in this part of North Dakota.

She grew up in the Danielson family in Carpio and later moved to Minot, graduating from Minot High School.

After high school, she went to Colorado State University in Fort Collins where she earned her nursing degree.

In 2009, she came back to North Dakota and took her first progressive care job at Trinity.

“It was a little different than I recalled,” she said of returning to the state. “The oil boom was going on.”

Madsen’s husband Kelly, was once employed at the Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge, but is now with NRCS in Minot. They have one son, Bryce, who is 14.

Career progression was a little odd in the Madsen family. They were living in Burlington and she was working in Minot. He was commuting to Kenmare.

Then he landed a job in Minot so he wouldn’t have to commute to Kenmare. Now she is working and commuting to Kenmare.

Madsen is also an avid outdoorswoman. She bagged a cow moose north of Flaxton nearly two weeks ago with her bow. She also likes duck hunting early mornings.

But in a hospital setting, her professionalism and enthusiasm are paramount with a little psychology thrown in. It doesn’t take long to realize that this woman chose the right career.

“I enjoy caring for patients, but my main focus is critical access,” she said. “In those hard pressure moments, you can make or break someone. You have to decide which direction a situation is going to go. I have always felt I’ve made the right decisions in the heat of the moment.”

She added that you would be out of place as a nurse if you didn’t have compassion for the people you’re caring for.

“This is about people in some of the toughest moments of their lives,” Madsen said. “People remember (trauma). It impacts them and to be a supportive person is important. You have to be a person they can trust and helps them understand the situation they are dealing with.”

Day to day, as director of nursing, Madsen is the liaison between the Trinity administration in Minot and the facility in Kenmare. She is also in charge of making sure that Kenmare remains up to code on state guidelines.

Her job includes managing staff.

“There are 45 employees under me, which includes director of the clinic, swing bed, ER (emergency room) and activities,” she said. “That includes scheduling day-to-day activities.”

She admits she has made a number of changes since coming on board last summer and getting the Kenmare facility “up to speed.”

As an example, she wanted people in the swing bed facility to be more relaxed and feel at home so the decor was changed to provide a brighter space.

She’s also in the process of changing how swing bed logs its activities.  Charting on paper is still done and is being transitioned to a digital format.

Volunteers welcome and encouraged at Kenmare hospital

“My main objective is to provide a great facility for this community,” Madsen said. “I would also like to get more community involvement in this facility.”

As an example, she would like to see volunteers come forward and perhaps serve coffee and discuss historical ties with the residents. She said it’s therapeutic.

“And high school students who want to go into medicine, we’d love to have them come in and job shadow and look at some opportunities,” she said. “As North Dakotans, we know what it’s like to be hard working. And I would love nothing more than to keep them in the community or I would like to get them to come back after they’ve gone to college.”

On Thursday, an employee appreciation barbecue was held.

“Everyone works hard and we want to let them know that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed,” she said. “Along with the hard changes, we’re trying to bring some positive aspects.”

That could be anything from lockers for nurses to more involvement in Kenmare from the Minot administration to bridge those gaps.

Laure Manack, family nurse practitonier-BC, is a provider in Kenmare who sees Madsen just as she described, a hard working North Dakotan.

“Noel is really trying to make things go forward and get it up to the rest of the country,” Manack said. “When I came here the swing bed was still paper charting. Noel and hospital administrator Danielle Alsadon are changing us to a computer basis. They’re looking at the big picture.” ... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!