Infusing Care: Wanda Bagley’s Shepherd Center Story
Wanda Bagley, RN, has been part of the Shepherd Center family for over 22 years. Currently serving as an infusion coordinator at Shepherd Center’s Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute, she shares what makes her job so special.
What does an infusion coordinator do?
My role as the infusion coordinator involves helping patients get scheduled for their infusion, making sure the rooms are appropriately staffed, and administering infusions to patients. A key part of what I do is working with the pharmacy. A good portion of patients have to have medication shipped in from an outside pharmacy, so I coordinate that piece to make sure the medication is here when the patient arrives.
Why did you choose to come to Shepherd Center from New York?
I had a patient at the time in New York who had done his initial rehabilitation at Shepherd Center. I saw the progress he had made, and that put it on my radar as a place to work when I started looking for a job. Once I started looking, everything just lined up like it was meant for me. I started in outpatient urology at Shepherd Center because it was closer to my background in New York. I had previous experience in rehabilitation and spinal cord injuries, so Shepherd Center was the perfect place to transition to. I was there for about 2 ½ years before transferring to the Multiple Sclerosis Institute, and I’ve been here ever since.
Twenty years is a long time. What made you stay with Shepherd Center’s Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute?
Well, for me, it was the learning. I love to learn, and I love to teach. So, when I got here, one of the neurologists took me under her wing, and she taught me everything about MS, A to Z. She taught me how to look at an MRI and know what I was looking at so I could understand the back side of things and be able to teach our patients. There’s a lot of teaching that goes on at Shepherd because everyone is starting their lives over again, whether it’s from a spinal cord injury or a disease. It’s a learning moment. So, because I enjoy learning and teaching, this was the best fit for me.
What do you think makes the MS Institute special?
Our team has become one big family, the way the providers work with us and how we work together. We celebrate each other’s highs and lows and everything in between. We’ve watched each other’s children grow up. We’ve had so many celebrations or unfortunate gatherings, but we’ve always unified as a team to help each other. When I started at the Multiple Sclerosis Institute, there were just two of us for infusions at that time. We developed this atmosphere where even on days when we were too busy to speak to each other, we knew what the other one needed. That has carried over to our team of five nurses today. We work so well together. I think that’s what makes our department so special and such a fun place to work.
What has been your favorite day at work?
My 50th birthday. I used to be a competitive bodybuilder, so I was known for always carrying around my gallon of water, and my diet was very precise. I still wanted to celebrate the day, so I brought in treats for everybody, and it turns out that four or five of my patients that day shared the same birthday! I loved that day because I was able to make it extra special for them. I told them, “I can’t eat all the goodies, but I want to celebrate with you!” So, that was a really great day.
Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.