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Get to know the Sharp team: meet David Gehlken, Nurse Practitioner – Diabetes Resource Program

At Sharp HealthCare, we want our employees to feel they are making a difference in the lives of our patients every day. Our team of supportive, passionate employees is what makes the Sharp employee experience possible.

This interview was conducted when David was in his previous role as a registered nurse in Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center’s intensive care unit. We spoke with him a what inspired him to start a career with us.

How would you describe your Sharp team?

The team I work with at Sharp Chula Vista’s intensive care unit is great. We have people with a wide range of experience, from one year to greater than 20 years. Employees stay at Sharp for a reason — it’s the camaraderie. I'm sure every unit is unique in this way, having strong bonds built with their team.

If you think about it, as nurses, we have experiences that we don't even share with our families. We’re with these people 12 hours a day. A lot of our relationships we build within our department seem to carry on with people.

How has Sharp supported you in your role?

I feel very supported in my role as a nurse here at Sharp Chula Vista.

For example, a typical new graduate takes about 12 weeks to become fully oriented. If our manager sees a new employee struggling a little bit, she approves them to carry on their orientation period longer. I remember one time we had one employee who stayed on orientation for six months.

That gives you a small example of how supportive our department and managers are.

What makes your Sharp Experience unique?

What makes Sharp different from other facilities within our area is the fact that they have a mission. And that mission is to create a patient-centered environment.

I have learned to foster a lot of good relationships with my peers. The things we do as nurses and the things we see throughout the day — our families don't quite understand what's going on out there. I'm glad that I have that support among my peers.

What I love about Sharp is that they celebrate us. They really take care of their nurses.

Why did you choose Sharp?

I see myself staying at Sharp Chula Vista for a long time. I have no intention of leaving anytime soon. And it's because of the opportunity that Sharp provides.

We have many facilities and the largest share of the market within San Diego. There's many different places where we can go as employees. Within my department, there's a lot of opportunity for growth. Eventually, I want to start working full time as a nurse practitioner.

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