Jonathan Wilson (BSN 99) claims to be an introvert. But the genial nature of this nurse and administrator belies his claim. Wilson is a leader who oversees dozens of people performing critical tasks, and though he has displayed talent as a behind-the-scenes manager, he prefers to be working directly with people out in the field rather than behind a desk.
During the one year he spent on the Oxford campus before transferring to the medical center to complete his nursing degree, he was a tuba player in the Pride of the South marching band. These are hardly characteristics of an introvert. But if claims of introversion are met with skepticism, accounts of his dedication and ability are not.
As the clinical director of emergency services for University of Mississippi Health Care in Jackson, Wilson must be always prepared. He leads a team of professionals that helps to expedite emergency services for medical cases all over the state. That includes routing ambulances, helicopters and other emergency vehicles to the hospitals and doctors most equipped to handle each particular case.
“What we do is we link paramedics in the field and the hospitals that are receiving patients,” said Wilson. “We bring the information that the paramedics have in the field into the hospital quicker, and we can also turn around and provide information from the hospital back to the paramedics in the field.”
His medical communications center team, also known as “Med-Com,” provides a centralized hub of information, so that when minutes are precious, he can make sure emergency vehicles can transport disaster victims to the right place as quickly and efficiently as possible. “Before, if there was a bad wreck on the interstate or something, the first time the staff in the ER would know about it was when the paramedic called in a report to say he was five minutes out with two critical patients,” said Wilson. “Now, with Med-Com we are able to relay that information a lot earlier so you can mobilize your resources in the hospital faster. We can also relay information back to those paramedics. So if they had a large event with hundreds of patients, the guys in the field have a tough time trying to decide where to send each patient. We can do that for them so they don’t have to call around to find out. We can gather that information and coordinate the triage from the field faster.”
His team is staffed 24/7 by three professionals, each of whom is either an EMT or a paramedic. Having trained professionals manage the communications is essential, says Wilson, because they are able to use the same language and jargon as the paramedics in the field, again, saving precious minutes.
Wilson is quick to share the credit for the advances Med-Com has made and more than willing to work where he is needed most, even if he’d rather be in the field. “I would like to be out taking care of patients,” he said. “It is what I got into nursing to do. But we have a good thing going, so I think that this is my role to play. What I do takes care of people in the field and at the bedside, so that gives me some satisfaction. Plus I have a bunch of good people to work with, so that makes my job a lot easier.”