Wendy Ulrikson likes playing a supporting role. As department assistant for Cardiopulmonary Services, she works every day to communicate with patients and support staff members. “My role includes scheduling respiratory tests, calling patients to set up sleep lab appointments, and supporting the sleep lab and respiratory technicians,” she says.
Ulrikson joined DCMC in 2011, at a time when the Sleep Facility was expanding. “As an American Academy of Sleep Medicine accredited sleep lab, there’s a lot that needs to be done to stay current and make sure we are providing best practices for our patients.”
Her background in business administration in shipbuilding and manufacturing and as a pharmacy tech prepared her for the varied demands of health care work. She even worked in the IT department of a nuclear plant. “I love being in this supporting role. Helping people achieve their goals and get the resources they need to accomplish their jobs is really fulfilling for me.”
Ulrikson has referred many friends, family and acquaintances to the DCMC Sleep Lab. “I’ve learned a lot about sleep issues, and when I hear people talk about certain symptoms, I’m able to share my knowledge about how sleep problems can have a serious effect on health.”
She also enjoys talking with patients and helping them understand the “why” of their respiratory care. “Patients really appreciate when we take the time to explain the process of testing,” she says. Recently, a patient thanked Ulrikson and told her of the difference she made in his care by encouraging him to get to all of his appointments. “That made me feel really good.”
Outside of work, Ulrikson enjoys spending time with her two young grandchildren. “We always look forward to doing things in the community, including activities sponsored by the hospital.” She has taken her grandchildren to the Southern Door Eagle Trail Run, and hopes to enroll them in next summer’s Art on the Wild Side classes.
When she’s out and about, she isn’t shy about telling her own DCMC story. “I’m not just an employee – this is where I get my own health care, including surgeries. I will come back in a heartbeat, because the care here is such high quality.”