Katey LaTour

As the saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” This couldn’t be truer for Kaitlyn “Katey” LaTour, who has set her sights on achieving her dream job. In August 2022, she began her journey to become a nurse, and just over a year later, she found the perfect position to help her achieve her goals.

While she was already enrolled in her prerequisite classes at John Wood Community College in Quincy for her nursing degree, she was looking for a job that would allow her to learn while she was also at work. She found the perfect fit at Quincy Medical Group (QMG) as an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Specialist.

“I actually applied for another position and when I interviewed with Colleen Bishop (QMG Senior Director, Health Information Management & Clinical Compliance), I told her what I was looking for and what my long-term goals were. She said, ‘Honestly, I think what you applied for is not what you’re looking for, but tell me about the areas of nursing you’re interested in.’ One of the areas I am interested in is informatics. So, she actually found the EMR job for me and that’s how I got here,” she shared.

Since starting her job at QMG, she has been able to balance her studies and her job. Her mom had even worked at QMG for seven years as an oncology infusion nurse, so she knew that QMG was the perfect fit for her.

“My journey to QMG was trying to find a company that was going to align with where I was going, because I was already in the prerequisite classes,” she said.

One barrier that she had to overcome was cost. The solution — QMG’s Tuition Reimbursement Program. She had been paying for her tuition and books out of pocket before starting at QMG. The Tuition Reimbursement Program has helped alleviate some of her stress and she’s grateful that QMG is invested in their employees’ futures.

“This is a second career for me, so when I decided to go back to school, I knew that I didn’t want to put myself into debt going to school and I didn’t want to take out a student loan. When I found out about the tuition reimbursement benefit, it really just helped lighten the load. It was just a lot of less stress having to come up with that money all by yourself,” she said.

She’s been able to maintain both a full-time job and a full-time school schedule, thanks to the flexibility provided at QMG.

“I got really lucky with the department I’m in. We have a team of eight people in EMR, and I’m able to mold my schedule to what it needs to be when I’m in class,” she said. “So, like on Mondays, I only work a half day because I’m in clinicals. Then once I’m done there, I come check in at the office and finish my day out here. And then on the days I have classes, I work half days. On the days I don’t have classes, I can make up my hours.”

LaTour is getting closer to achieving her dream. Being a nurse has always been something LaTour thought about, but she decided to pursue her other passion and graduated with a degree in culinary arts.

“I had been flirting with the idea of going to nursing school for probably like 10 years. It was almost as soon as I graduated from culinary arts school that I realized I don’t think this is actually what I want to do,” she said.

But life would seem to get in the way. LaTour would enroll in classes toward her nursing degree, then drop out right before classes would start.

“Going back to school later in life is a little intimidating, a little scary, especially when you’re working and trying to live,” she shared.

It was 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, when she decided to finally take the leap. Even at a time when the demand on healthcare workers was so great, she knew nursing was the career she was meant to be in.

“It was November 2020, I was working at Toyota and Lexus as a late-stage recovery analyst, which is a fancy way of saying I was the person who decided if we were going to repossess someone’s car,” she said. “I liked the job at first, especially the research side of it. But, when everyone was going through the pandemic and losing their jobs, and you were the person to say, ‘Sorry I have to take your car away now too,’ it really kind of kills your spirit a little bit. That’s when I decided to leave. It was a great company. It just wasn’t what I ultimately wanted to do the rest of my life.”

She quit her job, left her apartment, and came back to Quincy. One of the first things she did upon arriving back home was to enroll at John Wood Community College.

“It was kind of one of those things where you saw all of the things going on in the world around you and I thought, ‘Now is the time. If I’m going to do it, I might as well do it now.’ In the middle of the pandemic, I quit my safe office job to go work in healthcare. I had decided this is what I wanted to do and was done sitting on the sidelines.”

For others who may be thinking about their dream job, LaTour’s advice is to do it.

“It’s challenging to balance everything, but it’s not impossible,” she said. “You just really have to want to do it. I’m glad I did.”

To learn more about careers and benefits at Quincy Medical Group, visit https://quincymedgroup.com/careers/.

Editor’s Note: Employees have to work at QMG for six months in order to qualify for the tuition reimbursement benefit.