Staff Spotlight – Karla Watkinson, RN

Karla is an RN in the Division of Hematology/Oncology.

I have been a Hematology-Hemophilia/Bleeding Disorder Nurse Coordinator since May 1990 (29 years). I began working at the UIHC in 1985 on 3JCW; at the time, this unit was for School-Age Adolescents and housed children in this age group from all services. 3JCW then transitioned to care for patients from the Hematology-Oncology, Endocrine, and Renal services. I worked there for 5 years.

I have been married for 36 years and have 2 beautiful daughters, a wonderful son-in-law, an 11 year old grandson, and 3 (soon to be 4) granddaughters ages 9, 3 1/2, 1 1/2. Our oldest daughter is a nurse on 3RCW and our youngest has a degree in early child education but is blessed to be able to stay at home with her young daughters.

I love spending time with my family and usually take a family vacation together once a year; our favorite trips so far have been to Puerto Rico and Colorado. My other spare time is watching our grandchildren at sporting events, and traveling back and forth to Ohio to see the little ones. I also love being outside, working in the garden and yard with my flowers and vegetables. I do love a good book, popcorn, and a glass of wine.

I think I’ve already been blessed with a wonderful job and get to work with the bleeding disorder community, in both Pediatric and Adult patients, as their nurse coordinator. This encompasses a wide variety of nursing duties which includes triaging, clinic visits, education to patients/families, and care providers as well as a large percentage of time spent coordinating specialized care both in the hospital, at home, and in their local community.

The most fascinating place I’ve ever visited is Puerto Rico; the history is amazing as well as the architecture in San Juan. We also loved the small island to the east of Puerto Rico, Isla de Vieques, which had one of the worlds best beaches. If you ever decide to visit, do not take the ferry if you get motion sickness, they hand out paper bags for reason when you board.

My favorite meal depends on the time of year. Currently, BLT’s with garden fresh green beans and cucumbers are the best; In the winter it’s pot roast with carrots and potatoes; and I do love seasoned and grilled salmon with sautéed vegetables.

Favorite sports teams? Hawkeye sports, primarily football and women’s basketball and of course, my grandchildren’s teams!

I love too many books to pick a favorite!

I have recruited 2, hopefully 3, nurses to work in hemophilia and they have not only been the best colleagues to work but great friends too! Between the 3 of us, we have over 50 years of bleeding disorder experience!

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