News / Periop Café

40 Fast and Future Leaders of Surgical Services: Dr. Edna Gilliam

December 19, 2019


40 Fast and Future Leaders of Surgical Services: Dr. Edna Gilliam

I know it’s time to go home when other people can hear my stomach growling because I was too busy to eat lunch.

Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s knowing who and what your resources are.

One little thing I pay attention to is how clean a person’s nails are. If they have dirty nails, I encourage them to wash their hands and clean under their nails.

Best advice I ever received was that a good leader can lead anything. I find that statement so true because a good leader empowers his or her staff to influence change by being innovative and asking curious questions.

My mentors are Dr. Joanna Horst and Dr. Peter Pizzutillo. As a former chief nursing officer, Dr. Horst mentored me as a new perioperative director. She encouraged me to pursue an advanced degree and was very instrumental in my achievement of a doctoral degree in nursing. As a new perioperative director, Dr. Pizzutillo truly mentored me as the chief of surgery. He gave me the forum to express new ideas and innovations and his support throughout my leadership has been unyielding.

I am here for the patient population I serve every day. As the senior director of perioperative services at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, parents and caregivers trust me and my team to care for their precious loved ones. As a result, I want every patient and family to experience the best possible outcomes.

The future of surgical services is technology. Technologic innovations will continue to increase the degree of precision and effectiveness of surgical procedures beyond our imaginations.

The dumbest thing I ever did was wear two different shoes to work. Fortunately, as perioperative nurses, we keep our operating shoes at work and as a result, I did not have to walk around with two different shoes all day.

The smartest thing I ever did was become a nurse. Nursing has truly given me the ability to realize my dreams while helping others at the same time. I love my job and find it most rewarding. Not everyone can say that.

If I hadn’t been a Director of Surgical Services, I would have become an FBI agent and chased down criminals.

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