July 23, 2019 | Staff Stories
Sometimes we choose a career, and sometimes a career chooses us. That is exactly what happened for Tahira Karriem, Operations Manager for the pediatric department at our Baseline Clinic. From the time she was able to tell people what she wanted to be, Tahira was telling people she wanted to be a scientist. As she got older, she needed to figure out exactly what that meant. It all came together for her after her nephew was born with a congenital heart defect.
Tahira was on track to go to medical school when she was sitting alone in the ICU with her baby nephew.
“The nurse walked in and started explaining everything that was going on,” Tahira said. “It was probably a very insignificant moment for her, but I came out of that conversation knowing that’s what I wanted to do.”
Instead of going to medical school, Tahira decided to get a second bachelor’s degree in nursing and worked as a pediatric ICU nurse before coming to Mountain Park.
Originally from Lansing, Michigan, Tahira moved to Arizona in 2007 after getting married. She and her husband have four kids together.
Tahira came to Mountain Park four years ago as a Clinic RN. She transitioned into her current role just two years later.
“I really consider my position as more of a support role,” Tahira said. “Even though I’m not caring for our patients directly, there is still a level of satisfaction knowing that I’m helping the organization better serve our patients.”
Promoting healthy families is a passion of Tahira’s and all the different factors that play into someone’s health is what motivates her to get up and come to work every day.
“Physical and mental health, financial stability, available resources; I can really get fired up about those issues,” she said.
That same reason drew Tahira to go into pediatrics.
“Peds goes beyond taking care of the child. It’s really about serving the family,” she explained.
Even though Tahira can’t imagine herself in any field other than healthcare, working in pediatrics hasn’t always been easy.
“Early on I questioned it over and over again, but then something inside me clicked,” she said. “I realized I’ve been given an opportunity I can’t take for granted.”
Tahira wants her staff to feel like they are touching the lives of our patients.
“I work every day with the hope that I can inspire our staff to understand the privilege we’ve been given to work in healthcare.”