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New beginnings

December 2011

Published in the December 2011 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

THE ROAD TO HOSPITAL MEDCINE for Michael Dumpert, ACNP, comes by way of Iraq, Afghanistan, a stint in a surgical ICU and, most recently, a unique hospitalist fellowship program designed for nurses.

The 42-year-old was one of two nurses who completed a new, year-long fellowship at the University of Colorado last July. “I got to be right there and see what hospitalists are going through, how they’re evolving and where their future lies,” he says. By the end of the fellowship, which was taught by the university’s hospitalists and nurse practitioners, Mr. Dumpert said he was able to handle as many as 10 complex patients per shift.

This month, Mr. Dumpert is joining the hospitalist program at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, Colo. He’ll be taking admissions on the floor and in the emergency department, and eventually getting involved in post-admission clinics.

According to Mr. Dumpert, acute care is a good fit for his background and interest in a broad scope of care. He was in the Army from 1987 to 1995, then worked in an ambulatory care clinic as part of a VA work-study program. The experience inspired him to get his nursing degree and begin working in a Denver ICU.

In 2003, he joined the Wyoming Air National Guard, becoming a flight nurse as a reservist. “I liked the intensity, the procedures, the acuity and the critical thinking,” he says.

Mr. Dumpert honed those skills when he deployed, twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. He was on a team that transported critically ill soldiers on flights within the country, to Germany or the U.S. He credits his surgical ICU experience with giving him the mindset to serve the soldiers.

He then moved on to a masters’ degree in nursing with a dual degree in acute care and family nurse practitioner. Part of his hours for that degree involved clinical time with hospitalists “his first experience seeing an internal medicine hospitalist group in action. That was the inspiration behind applying for the hospitalist nursing fellowship.

Mr. Dumpert sees his new career in hospital medicine as a different kind of adrenalin rush.

“Now, when I get a call for a patient coming to the ER or out of a procedure, it gets my mind racing,” he says. “I’m pumped up about what I am able to do with my new training to get patients back home healthy again.”