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Connecting and Serving Patients in a Meaningful Way

May 02, 2023

HMHI Expert Spotlight: Alexis Kelly, RN

Meet Alexis Kelly, RN, a registered nurse at Huntsman Mental Health Institute. Alexis has made the transition from surgical nursing work into the field of mental health. We asked Alexis a few questions about her work at HMHI and what she enjoys doing when she is not working.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Alexis, and I am a nurse at Huntsman Mental Health Institute. I have been a nurse for a decade; eight of those years at HMHI. My roots are in surgery. For fifteen years prior to becoming an RN, I was a surgical tech in the operating room. This is also where I began my nursing career before I made the transition into mental health.

Alexis Kelly, RN, outdoors with green canyon in background

What do you do at HMHI?

At HMHI, I am a full time float nurse, working wherever I am needed; sometimes on multiple units during a shift. When necessary, I fill in as a house supervisor on weekends. I find both duties equally challenging, but also enjoyable.

How did you get started in this line of work?

After spending a good portion of my career in surgery, I decided it was time to look outside of the operating room for new experiences. A friend of mine, already working at HMHI, encouraged me to take the plunge into psychiatric nursing. Making the transition from surgery to psychiatry was intimidating at first, but I soon realized how satisfying it is to sit down and connect with my patients on a more meaningful level. This is something you just cannot do in the surgical setting, where you are rushing to get your patients ready, then the medication kicks in for them and its sleepy time.

What do you do for fun when you are not working?

When I am not at work, I am either off on a hike, paddling in my kayak, or taking a random road trip somewhere (to do more hiking or paddling). It did not take long in my nursing career to recognize the importance of a good hobby to help decompress after busy shifts at work. Travel and the outdoors fill this need quite well for me.