Member since: 1998
Occupation: Industrial/organizational psychology consultant in Rialto, Calif.
Enhancing health-care organizations’ productivity: Hernandez helps home health agencies and other small, health-related businesses work smarter. She coaches managers about ways to improve productivity, resolve conflicts with their employees, and recruit, train and evaluate staff. She helps organizations develop policies and procedures manuals. And she prepares business owners — emotionally and organizationally — to face audits by state or federal regulators. She’ll not only help them manage their anxiety, for example, but help them pull together the files auditors will need.
Streamlining jobs is a priority, says Hernandez, explaining that simplification reduces costs, improves operations and boosts morale. “We spend most of our waking hours in the workplace,” she says. “It should be a place of satisfaction and fulfillment.”
Combining nursing and psychology: Hernandez began her career as a licensed vocational nurse. After her daughter’s birth and a divorce, she earned her RN and became a public health nurse specializing in mental health. When she found herself struggling to cope with unruly patients, she started taking psychology courses and eventually earned her doctorate. “I wanted to understand myself and my patients better,” she says. Her mix of nursing and I/O gives her a unique edge, she says, since her clients serve chronically ill individuals, children with developmental disabilities, the dying and other patients facing health challenges.
Biggest frustrations: Hernandez sometimes feels she’s drowning in paperwork. “I’m a people person, not a paper person,” she laughs. And her business isn’t going to make her rich. With the bad economy limiting client resources, she often provides services at low or no cost. “I do feel fulfilled and satisfied in my work,” she says. “And seeing others feeling that way and operating efficiently gives me the biggest reward.”
Finding balance: Hernandez is active in her church, exercises with her Wii, goes on sightseeing trips to such nearby destinations as San Francisco and Las Vegas, and visits her three grandchildren, who live “up the mountain” about 50 miles from Hernandez’s home. “And I try to schedule things so I can catch ‘Monday Night Football,’” she says. “Football — that’s a passion!”
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