The Army’s and DaVita’s Core Values Align to Give a Veteran Nurse Human Connection in Health Care
Hello, my name is Kevin Pun. I am an in-center hemodialysis nurse from Long Beach, California. I am currently working at DaVita Bixby Knolls and joined DaVita in October of 2018. Before joining DaVita, I spent four years on active duty in the United States Army, stationed in Fort Drum, New York as a Combat Medic/ Healthcare Specialist attached to 1st Squadron 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. At the end of my initial contract, I reenlisted with the United States Army Reserves where I spent an additional three years with 437th Ground Ambulance Medical Company stationed in Riverside, California.
After graduating nursing school, I applied to jobs that were accepting new graduates. I never thought I’d be a dialysis nurse or working at DaVita. So how did I end up at DaVita? I decided to apply because they accepted new graduates and offered twelve weeks of paid training. It wasn’t until I visited the DaVita website and researched their Core Values and mission that I realized that this was what I missing since leaving my military service. DaVita’s Core Values and mission resonated and aligned with my beliefs and culture that I had already learned, experienced and developed from the Army.
So far, my experience at DaVita has been nothing but memorable. Right after finishing the twelve week training, I learned about and attended one of the programs that is tailored to veterans, Veterans to Village (V2V). V2V is designed to foster a stronger community for our Veteran teammates, enhance participants’ roles as leaders, and family and community members. It also focuses on self-development, community service and transition skills.
In September 2019, I had the opportunity to attend V2V in Westminster, Colorado. V2V was much different from Academy. This program was small and intimate. I was also gifted a special V2V t-shirt and water bottle. An event with DaVita would not be complete without great food. As a veteran, ‘chow time’ was the best time and I was fed well during my experience at V2V.
Upon arriving for V2V, I was encouraged to refrain from revealing my branch of service, so that I was able to connect and bond with other teammates from the Village on a human level and not based on preconceived beliefs and ideas based on a branch of service. That morning, we had breakfast and departed to volunteer for a service project.
Day two and three of the program, I learned to identify my emotions and to become self-aware of those emotions before I am able to understand others. I learned to be aware of my own strengths and limitations. Managing my emotions and understanding where my behaviors come from. My beliefs shape my behavior and my behavior shapes my character. I also learned about managing my relationships with friends, family, patients and teammates. I learned to build bonds, teamwork and collaboration.
I was also able to understand my overall energy reserves. Managing my energy in all aspects of my life, such as: mind, body, spirit and emotion. Am I providing my body with the right nutrition, getting adequate sleep, working out, and do I take breaks from work to recharge? Do I frequently feel irritable at work? Am I making time for loved ones? Do I get distracted at work or am I losing focus? Do I spend enough time at work doing what I enjoy and am I making a difference to others? I learned about what the Army did for me and what I am leaving behind. I learned to identify emotional triggers and was given tools to address those triggers.
Attending Veterans to Village reinforced the reason why I decided to go into dialysis and join DaVita. I got more time to build relationships with patients and with my team. There is a sense of teamwork and community working with DaVita. Leaving the service, I found it hard to find friends and camaraderie like the ones you make in the military. Through V2V, I was able to improve on myself as a person and as a leader. I was able to meet other veterans and was able to reconnect with friends I had served with in the military that resided in the Denver area. Thank you, DaVita, for making the company a place I can call home, where teamwork and camaraderie exists, so that myself and other Veterans alike, can have a smooth transition from Veterans, to Village.