Day in the Life: ATS Edition with Tenesha Trammell

ATS plays a critical role in patient lives, and we’re incredibly fortunate to our SpecialtyCare team for making a positive impact every day. This week, we’re highlighting one of our Clinical Supervisors, Tenesha Trammel. She discusses what led her to work in ATS, the benefits of a career in ATS, and what her day-to-day looks like. She also offers valuable advice and details a memorable moment from her career.

How long have you been an autotransfusion clinical technician/clinical manager?  

I’m currently a Clinical Supervisor on the ATS team in Louisville, Kentucky. 

What led you to become interested in ATS, and can you describe the path you took?

I’ve always had a passion for healthcare because I love helping people. I’ve also watched how people have helped my family so much over the years. I initially pursued nursing in college, but the timing wasn’t right, so I transferred into public health. After graduation, I moved to Alabama, but there weren’t many healthcare opportunities. I searched every healthcare opportunity that I could find for one that would give me a lot of variety. I interviewed for an ATS position and moved to Kentucky immediately to pursue this career. 

What are the benefits of a career in ATS?

The most significant benefit is the variety. ATS isn’t the end-all, be-all. There’s room to move into other areas that interest me, especially at SpecialtyCare. 

What is a day in the life of an autotransfusion technician typically like?  

My day-to-day in ATS includes routine orthopedic cases and spinal repairs. I start by getting my machine set up for the day. Depending on how many cases I have, I might be running multiple rooms. I communicate with anesthesia throughout the case to determine blood loss and whether we have enough blood to process to give back to the patient. 

I work at a Level 1 trauma center, so some more interesting days include trauma cases instead of routine work. Those days can be hectic but simultaneously interesting and fun. My day-to-day varies depending on what cases I have each day. 

What communication advice would you give when it comes to working successfully in a team dynamic?  

The most significant piece of advice that I can give is to communicate thoroughly. ATS requires you to have all the information before communicating anything, so it’s essential to communicate often and thoroughly prepare your answers. 

What was a surprise to you about the career when you first started? 

The biggest surprise is what cases we get to see every day. When I was in nursing, I had minimal experience being in the OR and, when I was, they were easy, routine cases. I see more extreme cases working in trauma and realize how critical my role is by being in the room for these cases. 

What has been a memorable moment or story you’d like to share from your career?

A few years ago, I did a rotationplasty of the knee for a 12 year old. This procedure typically occurs in cancer patients. They removed that leg area and rotated the leg 180 degrees, so the ankle essentially becomes the knee. This provides better support for a prosthetic. 

This was an extremely long case and, later that week, the patient wrote us a letter thanking everyone that worked on their case. They talked about how they were nervous going into this as a kid but were highly adamant about everyone reading this letter. They said that the procedure significantly changed their life. This case solidified how critical our role in ATS is, even if we don’t fully realize it. 

About SpecialtyCare

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