This week’s non-clinical spotlight features Tarra Washington, PT, DPT, MBA, who now works as Head of Corporate Healthcare Relationships for HCA Healthcare UK!
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What is your full name, title, and company name for your current, primary role?
Tarra Washington, PT, DPT, MBA – Head of Corporate Healthcare Relationships for HCA Healthcare UK
What additional roles do you currently have?
Board Member for Our Miracle Child Foundation
Where are you located?
London, United Kingdom
Where did you go to PT school, and what year did you graduate?
Rutgers University, 2005
What did you do when you first finished school, and for how long?
Physical Therapist Acute Care and ICU for 11 years
In what setting(s) did you work, and what types of patients did you treat?
Neurological Rehab, Trauma ICU. Complex stroke, post surgical, and Level 1 Trauma and Mechanically Ventilated Patients.
What did you enjoy about your early roles?
I enjoyed following the progress of patients to get home safely, and getting patients off of the ventilator and moving while still on the ventilator. Developing trust and bonds with patients and doctors was also enjoyable.
What else have you done since then, prior to your current role?
Hospital leadership as an administrator, and Chief Executive Officer of Specialty Hospitals for 5 years.
When and why did you decide to do something non-clinical?
What are you doing these days?
Managing large corporate healthcare relationships and the healthcare services they provide for their employees. I help ensure that they are growing and working successfully all in a new country–United Kingdom.
Are you still treating patients, or are you solely non-clinical?
Solely non-clinical once I became a hospital CEO.
How long have you been in your current role?
About a year.
Did you get any special certifications or training along the way to help you get into your current role?
MBA in Health Sector Management, and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification.
How did you find your job? Did you apply or find it through a connection?
LinkedIn and reached out to recruiters.
Did you do anything special to your resume and cover letter to land the job?
I highlighted my key skills and accomplishments.
What was the interview like for the role?
It was formal.
I had to make clear how my very different skills and experience could translate to this new role.
What are some of the things you did to stand out, take initiative, and advance in your career?
- Communicate even small wins
- Network with individuals outside your department
- Make clear your goals of progress within the organization to your line manager
- Find a mentor in the company in a role you would eventually want to attain
How have people reacted to you leaving patient care?
What’s a typical day or week in the life like for you as Head of Corporate Healthcare Relationships?
My week typically consists of:
- Having meetings with the heads of various large organizations to ensure relationships are strong and to develop strategies
- Spending time with our internal team to focus on ideas and ongoing opportunities
- Outside of work, taking care of my family and making every attempt to do some sort of physical activity
What are some of the rewards of your role? What are the biggest challenges?
The biggest reward is the retention of clients, or gaining new opportunities due to their satisfaction with the relationship.
A challenge is that we must always be proactive to keep ahead of new competitors in the market.
How did your clinical background prepare you for this role? Which skills transferred?
I understand clinical and operational needs when developing new products and services. Also, I understand the patient journey and experiences and what they may want.
All skills have transferred–particularly relationship management, teamwork, and how PTs solve problems from the root of the issue.
How is the pay compared to patient care?
Depends on the role. When I moved into the hospital CEO role, there was a significant leap due to the level of responsibility.
What type of person do you think would do well in your role?
Someone who is a self-thinker, takes initiative on their own, and is innovative.
Does your organization hire PT, OT, or SLP professionals into non-clinical roles?
Yes, at all levels.
Did you do anything special overall to get you where you are today?
I took internships at very low pay after getting my MBA in order to gain non-clinical experience.
What is next for you? What are your high-level career aspirations?
Responsibility in a role at a regional level.
What would you like to change most in your profession?
We are doctorate-level, strong candidates and many roles that are only offered to nurses should also be offered to PTs.
What career advice would you give yourself that you wish you had during school?
Focus less on test grades and more on ensuring you fully understand the material.
What would you teach to today’s graduate students in your profession, if you had the opportunity?
Be a leader–don’t do just the minimum as that ruins the perception of a PT.
Not sure what non-clinical path you want to take, but know you want to leave patient care?