In this Faculty Spotlight, we are talking to Amanda D. Raffenaud, PhD, MSHSA, an assistant professor in healthcare administration, who just completed her doctorate in Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida. Read on to find out about her research, her best advice for students, and what she loves most about ADU.
Name: Amanda Raffenaud Position: Assistant Professor in Healthcare Administration At ADU since: 2016 Hometown: Winter Park, Florida Favorite Course to Teach: U.S. Healthcare System
Can you tell us about yourself and your doctorate degree?
I’m an assistant professor in healthcare administration and my research interests include healthy workforces, both physically and mentally healthy workforces, and the healthcare workforce in general. I just completed my doctorate in Public Affairs from the University of Central Florida, with a concentration in health management and research. The Public Affairs program was interdisciplinary and fused together different disciplines: healthcare, social work, criminal justice, public administration, and involved discussion around collaboratively solving societal ills. The idea is that when we work together with our neighboring disciplines, we can do more to solve social problems. Healthcare certainly needs to be supported by other disciplines and we need to support others to make a greater impact. It was a great program.
My dissertation was on the nursing workforce and I studied work and family conflict, which is a derivative of work life balance, and focuses on work’s impact on family and family’s impact on work. I measured work and family conflict among nurses at three different levels: the bedside nurse, the nurse manager, and the nurse executive. I looked at ways we can support the workforce, both professionally and personally, and how supporting them would actually be better for the overall healthcare system and patient outcomes. This was the first study of its kind in the state of Florida that looked at work and family conflict among nurse leadership. I defended my dissertation recently and my research has been accepted at three conferences this summer. I plan on disseminating the findings through publications and presentations and hope to disseminate to Florida Hospital nursing leadership.
Did you always know you wanted to be in the healthcare field? How did you end up where you are right now?
My original intent as I was getting my master’s degree was to go into industry. I deviated from that plan when the program faculty said, “Amanda, we need you teach for us, you have a lot to offer”. This was in 2006 and I never looked back. So in some respects I think healthcare found me. I don’t know if I really set out having this career path in mind, but it found me, so I have walked through the doors that have been opened and I have trusted God through the process.
Do you have any advice for students?
1) I tell students, whether they are undergrad, grad, or doctoral, traditional or non-traditional, one of the best things they can do is have a mentor. Sometimes that is a personal mentor, sometimes that is a career mentor, but find someone that is a few steps ahead of you who can encourage you to reach new levels and assist with areas of growth both personally and professionally.
2) Read. Commit to being a forever learner. I tell students when they graduate they are not done learning; they are just getting started. Being aware of what is happening in the field is key to growing as a leader, in addition to being aware of what is happening in society, and what is happening in their own personal lives. Having self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and relationship skills are all important for success.
What do you like best about ADU?
I love that I get to bring my faith in to the classroom. This was something I could not do at my previous institution. Being able to connect with students by talking about our faith and encouraging them in their faith is really important to me. I am honored to be able to support them in faith-based learning.