We recently connected with Ashley Hay and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, thanks for joining us today. Let’s start with a fun one – what’s something you believe that most people in your industry (or in general) disagree with?
I think it’s a common belief that nurses should forever remain at the bedside. While we definitely need and highly value nurses who choose to remain in direct patient care roles, there are so many alternative and nontraditional roles available to those with a clinical background, interested in pivoting their career. One great example is entrepreneurship. Nurses are innately able to solve complex problems using critical thinking skills, often in high-stress or time sensitive situations. This can be a huge asset as a business owner.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I dedicated my nursing career to adult and pediatric oncology care. Due to a number of issues, including chronic health complications, I had to make the decision to step away from direct patient care after 12 years in the field. I wanted a to find an alternative career that would utilize my wealth of clinical knowledge, allowing continued education of patients/peers/caregivers. I harnessed my love of reading, writing, and research to start up my medical writing business in 2017, having expanded my services to also include clinical consulting. I provide clients with a variety of unique perspectives on varied healthcare projects, as a creative technical writer, a front-line healthcare provider, and experienced patient.
What’s been the most effective strategy for growing your clientele?
Just putting myself out there has proven fruitful. Seeking jobs or clients that are of interest to me keeps me motivated. I find I avoid burnout by finding projects I’m passionate about. For example, I really enjoy anything within the rare disease or oncology space. I have a lot of experience in those areas and enjoy delivering content that will face caregivers, patients, or providers within those populations. I’ve been fortunate enough to build a strong portfolio and work experience within the medical space. Having those, I find that I’m able to frequently choose which projects or clients to take on – something I’m now very grateful for. It wasn’t too long ago I was trying to find a publication willing to give an inexperienced medical writer a shot.
Can you open up about a time when you had a really close call with the business?
Freelance can truly be feast or famine. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many thriving clients unexpectedly put projects and budgets on hold. A usually busy season was exceptionally quiet. Seasons that were typically quiet were booming – but mostly with medical writing needs related to COVID. I was happy to take the work, but it soon became overwhelming and disheartening. I was also soon met with health challenges related to chronic illness – needing to be hospitalized for weeks and later needing extensive hip surgery. I went weeks without work or pay. That quickly turned into months while I took much needed time to heal. Luckily, I had planned ahead, making a decent salary that would hold me over until I was well enough to return to work. Working for yourself can often present moments of near death for the business or finances. I’ve been fortunate enough to persevere. I returned with a fresh perspective, gratitude to be working again, and a great list of new clients. It was tough to turn away work due to personal setbacks during a worldwide health crisis, but it all lead me to a very fulfilling present workload.
- Website: https://ahaynursing.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ahaynursing/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ahaynursing/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ahaynursing
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/ahay-nursing-p-c-san-diego-4?osq=AHay+Nursing%2C+P.C.
- Other: Portfolio: https://ahaynursing.contently.com/