Controlling Chaos: An Acquired Skill

Julian Gallegos, N.P.

Julian Gallegos was a fairly new nurse in the U.S. Air Force when he was sent to Germany’s Ramstein Air Base to help care for service members being flown in from the war zone in Iraq. He met incoming flights and cared for patients — whose injuries ranged from minor to critical —as they were bused from the landing strip to the hospital.

“You grow up fast,” noted the nurse practitioner in NorthBay Healthcare’s Urology and Sleep Medicine clinics. “I believe they call it controlled chaos.”

That experience helped considerably when he came to NorthBay Medical Center in 2010 as an administrative coordinator for the night shift. He was responsible for supervising all operations of the medical unit, working with doctors, nurses and various departments so that everything ran smoothly. It’s a job akin to that of a traffic cop.

He was named stroke program coordinator in 2012, and returned to clinical nursing four years ago, in the Urology and Sleep Clinic. And in his spare time, he earned a doctorate in philosophy with a major in nursing from the University of Arizona.

Now, he is teaching the next generation of nurses, as a full-time assistant professor and doctorate of nursing practice program coordinator at Touro University in Vallejo.

The military, he said, is a great place for nurses to start, “because the leadership skills that you learn translate well in the civilian world.”

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