Donald Watson, RN, AHA, TC, has recently joined Baystate Franklin Medical Center as the new nurse manager for the Mental Health Unit (MHU).
Before entering the medical field, Watson worked for several years as the director of manufacturing for Sci-Tech Plastics in West Hatfield, MA. A career change prompted Watson to consider medicine and he entered Springfield Technical Community College’s nursing program. While in nursing school, Watson interned at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield and continued as a registered nurse in many departments, including the intensive care unit, maternity, orthopedics, and telemetry. He later joined the emergency medicine team at Cooley Dickinson hospital in Northampton.
In 2013, Watson joined Baystate Health as the administrative nursing supervisor at Baystate Wing Memorial Hospital in Palmer. As a supervisor, he guided a dynamic team of health professionals to ensure quality patient care. “I’ve learned from years of medical experience in a hospital setting to concentrate on what you have control over – my job and the patients I care for. At the end of the day, providing the best possible care for patients is what matters most.”
A locked, twenty-two bed unit, the Mental Health Unit at Baystate Franklin serves a patient population of acute adolescent and adult psychiatric patients. As MHU nurse manager, Watson will provide clinical leadership and oversee daily patient care. He will collaborate with a multi-disciplinary team of professionals from the emergency department and pharmacy, creating a cohesive work environment for employees and smooth transitions for patients. Additionally, Watson will cultivate and lead professional development trainings for seasoned staff members. Watson looks forward to continuing in a clinical leadership role and sharing his passion for the medical field with employees, noting, “Since nursing has been my second career, I went in with the appreciation that no matter how bad a day may be at work, I have tried to do good for someone, to make a patient’s day better.”
A Huntington native, Watson and his wife, Tiffany, a registered nurse for Baystate Medical Center, reside in Hatfield with their three children. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and is a certified SCUBA instructor. Watson is excited to begin his new role with the Mental Health Unit at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, “I look forward to working with a multi-faceted team of professionals who are progressive and dedicated caregivers.”