Fluvanna Faces: Tracey Justus

Fluvanna Faces: Tracey Justus


How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
I moved here in 2006 due to a job relocation. I began working in the neuro intensive care unit at University of Virginia Medical Center.

Where do you live?
Sycamore Square in Palmyra

Tell us about your family.
I have two wonderful boys. One is 20 years old and graduated in 2016. My second son is a senior who wrestles. They are both unique and wonderful in their own ways.

What was your first job? What lessons from that job helped you later in life?
My very first job was probably babysitting. It certainly helped prepare me for being a caregiver to my own children.

Where did you go to school? What did you study?
My undergraduate degree is from Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. I re-ceived a Bachelor’s of Science in nursing. I then went on to get my Master’s of Nursing degree from Walden University with a concentration in nursing informat-ics.

What is your title at your current career?
Electronical medical record manager, nurse informaticist.

What are your responsibilities?
I manage a team of 26 application systems analyst-programmers and main-tain the software for the core clinical ap-plications. Additionally, I am the project lead for an assessment for installing the same software at a community hospital. I am responsible for new functionality for the same areas along with maintenance. I participate in organizational initiatives related to software needs, consulted for IT projects, and participate on policy and procedure committees as needed. Work-flow analysis is also part of my daily responsibilities.

How long have you been with you current employer?
Since 2006.

What challenges do you face on a regular basis?
One of the biggest challenges that I face on a daily basis is having enough time is to complete all the work that comes in.

What changes have you seen within your career throughout the past couple of years?
The changes that I have seen involve using technology to leverage better outcomes for patients in their care. The data we retrieve is only as good as the data that we input. Our customer base has become much savvier with what they want to enter into the electronical medical record, therefore making the data we extract more meaningful. This has allowed for more lean processes to be implemented. This allows for more time at the bedside with patients. Additionally, the tools we are implementing are more sophisticated and precursors to certain disease processes are recognized earlier to allow for better patient outcomes.

What is your favorite thing about your job?
One of the things that I love about what I do is working directly with my team members. At times the needs of the organization take me away from that part of the job. When I do find time to connect with my team, that’s when I get the most joy out of what I do. Additionally, when my teams are able to make changes in the software system that make it easier for our staff and then makes a positive change for patient outcomes, it is very rewarding.

What is one of your pet peeves?
That there is not enough time to work on all the great initiatives that could make positive outcomes for all of our patient populations. What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to run and work out at the gym, spend time at the beach, and given that it’s wrestling season, attend Fluvanna County’s wrestling matches!

Do you prefer books or movies?
I prefer books. This way I get to imagine the characters the way that I see them. I also enjoy the movies, specifically Marvel or DC movies.

What is your favorite book or series?
The Harry Potter series. It was well-written, clean and humorous. It’s an easy read that takes you away from the reality of the day for a fun and fantastical story.

What pivotal decision helped to shape your life?
The birth of my firstborn son is what catapulted me into a nursing career. He was born 11 weeks prematurely with a lot of comorbidities and I felt it was critical that I be familiar with the healthcare system and prepare myself for his future needs. I made a decision to become a nurse and literally fell in love with a career.

Tell us about a way you have changed over the years.
I have learned to appreciate that time with family and work-life balance is critical to success. Having a good work-life balance makes a person more productive at work and an all-around happier and productive person.

What has surprised you about your life?
I actually had no idea that I would be a nurse. Originally my goal was to work in computing science. As I stated above, life changes occurred and I became a nurse and love it! An opportunity occurred that allowed me to merge my nursing experience with information technology for what has to be the most satisfying career I’ve experienced thus far. I’m frequently asked if I miss bedside nursing, and on occasion I do. My standard response is instead of taking care of two patients now I get to take care of a whole hospital full of patients. I truly love what I do.

What’s one thing you hope to accomplish before you die?
I would like to be able to be an advo-cate for parents of special needs children in the school system. Having children is a challenge within itself but then adding unique needs of individual children with a variety of different disabilities is a difficult situation to navigate. Parents need support and they need to know that others have been through what they’re going through and can empathize with them. Just knowing that you are not alone makes a huge difference when trying to do what’s best for your children and overcoming barriers that make it ex-ceptionally difficult.

Tell us about one of your regrets.
I would have liked to have started my nursing career earlier. Tell us about your proudest moment. One of my proudest moments that I will reference is developing a healthy lifestyle. Learning how to exercise and eat healthfully can have a positive effect on not only my health but also those around me.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
One of the craziest things that I did was join the Army. I was in a transition period, trying to determine what I was going to be when I grew up. I learned discipline, chain of command, standardization of work, and how to work with a team. A lot of valuable lessons learned during my short time in the military helped shape the way I conduct business today. Such valuable lessons that I will carry with me always.

What quote or saying do you connect with most?
“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” – Stephen Hawking This speaks to the fact that success is a state of mind. Everyone can have suc-cesses in life whether they are personal or on a global level.

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