Adrian Go, BSN, RN

Adrian Go, BSN, RN

Staff Nurse – Mount Sinai Hospital

College of Mount Saint Vincent – Class of 2015

Why did I choose nursing?

Nursing was a career that I never foresaw myself doing.  As some new college students do, I was going to go in undecided or possibly look into doing communications, but my mother shined some light on me about a major I should pursue.  This was nursing.  I reflected on her idea of it and believed that it would be a fit choice considering that I wanted to be able to impact lives and make a difference, but it was still not a definite decision even when I entered college.

After doing basic nursing classes, I was still not convinced that I made the right decision.  But this all changed when I started working as a patient care associate at New York Presbyterian Columbia Medical Center.  As a PCA and a fairly new nursing student, I did not to know what to expect except for what was explained in the description of the position.  After a month, each shift was more or less routine: AM/PM care, vital signs at twelve o’clock, refilling isolation carts, and making sure patients were comfortable and needs were attended to.  Most of the patients I encountered were typical med-surg patients, but eventually I encountered one that changed my experience.  An old Spanish man was admitted to our unit, receiving care for a post-transplant surgery of his liver.  Each shift I would always be assigned to him and one day, he asked me to sit down and talk with him.  We talked about our cultures, sports, family, you name it.  Eventually, our conversations occurred just as much as checking his vitals and providing AM/PM care.

As time progressed, he began to reject his liver and declined.  After about two months of care, he passed.  This was the first patient I ever experienced dying and as a nursing student, you rarely encounter this type situation.  At first I was unsure of how to react and would talk to the nurses about it.  What they told me was these types of situations will happen, which of course I knew came with the job.  I was so focused on how tragic it was that passed, but one thing I never thought about was how he passed.  I realized that during his time here, I played an essential role in making him more comfortable, whether it was bathing or making conversation.  Though physically he may have experienced pain, I felt that mentally, I was able to put him at ease and make his passing more comfortable.  At this point, I was assured that nursing was the path I should take.  The fact that I was able to help someone as much as I did as a PCA, made me see that I could make more of a difference and impact others’ lives on a more critical level as a registered nurse. 

How do I see myself in the nursing profession in the next five years?

As a new nurse in the field, I solely want to focus on strengthening my skills at the beside and eventually transition over into critical care.  Throughout my education, I had to the opportunity to do a rotation in the PACU and OR and because of those rotations, they peaked my interest in being a part of the surgical team.  Since those experiences, I have decided to pursue a higher education in becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

What is your vision of the NYC MIN group?

Thanks to a good friend, I was able to become a part of a rising movement, NYC Men in Nursing.  I am thankful take part in such an influential group and attend meetings to both develop my knowledge and meet great people.  Each meeting has its unique experience and is beneficial to all of us.  I am able to walk out of each meeting with new information, meet new friends who share the same goals, but more importantly walk out knowing I had chosen the right career.  The members in Men in Nursing have been very helpful to me since day one, helping me with applications, interviews and what to expect in the real nursing world.  With the help of MIN, I was able to land a position in Mount Sinai Hospital and I am grateful for their guidance and support.

In terms of the vision in Men in Nursing, I wish to change how nurses are looked upon.  Some people discriminate nurses in their role, but also as a career not suitable for men.  I believe that the NYC MIN has the ability to influence others by showing how diverse nurses are, whether you are male or female, black, white, purple, yellow or orange. Ultimately, we (as nurses) are all here to some save lives and heal even some more. Not only can NYC MIN show how diverse we are culturally, but that nurses are also diverse in their role.  Though working bedside is a critical part in our career, it doesn’t define how much more we can do.

 

Winsley Calip-Yero, BSN, RN

Winsley.jpg

Emergency Department RN

Doctorate of Nursing Practice Student in Psych/Mental Health - Rutgers University 

Why nursing?

          After my senior year of high school, being the first to graduate from a US high school within my immediate family, and with my lack of guidance, my future was uncertain for the professional world of independence. At first, my years at Fashion Institute of Technology has led me to my experiences in fashion design, which I have considered a fantastic exploration of maintaining my hobby in fine arts. As a college student, I eventually needed to find employment, which led me to a per diem job position, working at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, NJ. Being a registrar and then as an Emergency Room technician, a job that has given me insight intricacies of the health care profession. This field of work provided personal satisfaction in the caring arts that I thought was always in me

          My next move was to pursue a degree in bachelors in biology that eventually would have given me the background to apply to a medical school. From biological sciences, organic chemistry, and physics classes that led to the MCATs and medical school applications, I reflected as to why I was never been in tuned to the excitement about being a physician. To wonder why I lost motivation, lacked interest, and to discontinue my submissions, I worked extra days to explore my curiosity, if my passion for patient and philosophical interventions for helping people still had an impact on my self fulfilment - it did but in a different aspect of medicine. It was working closely and side by side with the nurses in my unit that persuaded me to switch gears to nursing.

          The Emergency Room nurses whom I had the pleasure of working with provided the inspiration to anchor my enthusiasm for nursing. Observing them in their constant interactions with patients and their practical virtuosity at the bedside propelled my desire to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable patients. I believe that the profession proves its best in caring, advocating, and promoting the health of individuals, family, and communities across the health care systems.

Within the next five years…

          As for now I am uncertain of where my career in nursing may lead me, but what I have learned as a nursing student from NYU College of Nursing, I know that my education must continue to the graduate level, if not for the rest of my life. Based on this notion, I continue to pursue my bedside experience as an Emergency Room and Psychiatric ER nurse, but in the process, I have decided to apply for my Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), have been accepted, and will commence towards that degree starting this fall semester. I believe that nurses in this profession, which has a solid background in independence and autonomy, must continue and follow their dream, in advancing their education, for the greater good. Within the next five years, I can and hopefully state that being accepted in the Doctoral of Nursing Program, I will be able to continue to care for my patients, with a new skill set. I am convinced that nurse must do their best to educate their clients, instill hope and boost up the resiliency of persons under their care. This is particularly important and sorely needed amidst the overwhelming burden of incurable, non-communicable diseases. I envision that my advanced nursing degree will not only help my patients, but to also educate aspiring nursing students about the immense contributions of the nursing profession in the health of our nation.

Vision of the NYC Men In Nursing

          Since I have joined the group, I have been grateful for the professional development opportunities and social networking events. I began attending the monthly meetings on my first year of nursing school and have been very intrigued by the leaders and guest speakers with their knowledge and expertise. Their generosity of time and their practical advice is a great resource. For past, current, and future members, I hope that this association will continue to grow and expand the vision of educating members of this society and include the male nurses as a vital partner within the realm of nursing.

Legacy of Male Nurses

          Although male nurses may have carried negative stereotypes in a female-dominated profession, I believe that through diversity and equal opportunity, we have established our place in the profession for good. Many viewpoints have regarded that male nurses deliver various perspectives to provide exceptional care in collaboration with the health care team. With the growing interest in nursing among men, let us hope that male nurses would soon provide the bridge and close the gap of gender disparities and shortages in nursing. Nurse of any gender must learn from each other and delight on every nurse’s unique qualities.  

A Touching Experience

            As an Emergency Room nurse, we encounter numerous challenging situations every day. One day towards the end of my shift; I admitted a female patient in her early 20’s, with high fever, with her newborn baby in tow. The mother had a terminal cancer, metastasized to her bones, lungs, and liver. The nursing supervisor walked by and immediately stated, “She has to get her baby out of here or else I’m calling DYFS and they will come get the baby.” That statement had an impact on me; what went through my head? I felt pain, I felt impotent. I wanted to cry but then my courage as an advocate for my patient, replied to her, “No DYFS, she [the patient] needs support and help not headache or worries.” As her nurse, I stood for her. I was there; I held her hand and told her, “I will be right by your side.” It is indescribable what I felt from helping another human being who was in sorrow, in pain, and in despair. This experience taught the true meaning of patient-centered care. 

Eric DeMartino, BSN, RN

Staff Nurse, CCU – New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Hospital

It was the summer of 2011 where I found myself in and out of hospitals more than ever before visiting my grandfather. He had been recently diagnosed with COPD and congestive heart failure, so I’d spend time and visit him frequently. My grandfather would always ask about how work was going for me, but I didn’t have a plan for my professional career yet, or even knew in what direction it was going. I was a new college graduate from SUNY Oneonta, and wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do. I had a Bachelor’s in Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry, on a pre-dental track. The major issue there was that I no longer had the desire to pursue becoming a dentist. I was working for different catering companies around New York City, and simultaneously trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my professional life that would make me happy.

During my visits to the hospital, my grandfather was always telling me how nice all the nurses were to him and that he was very well taken care of. I then began to notice how attentive the nurses were towards my grandfather, addressing his needs and spending the most time with him of any other hospital staff. They involved me in his care and made me feel very comfortable when I’d leave.

After my grandfather’s passing that summer, it still stuck with me how highly he spoke of the hospital nursing staff in the CCU. I always wanted to work somewhere in the healthcare field and now decided to do some research in pursuing a nursing career. I came across the accelerated nursing programs and decided to take the rest of the pre-requisites and apply. I also started volunteering in the ICU at NY Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn to make sure this is what I wanted to do. I distinctly remember on my first day seeing a deep pressure ulcer, and frighteningly thought to myself, “What am I getting myself into here?” I quickly adapted to being exposed to unpleasant sights at the bedside, and really loved every moment of volunteering. I assisted the nurses in patient care and used the time to ask as many questions and pick their brains.  They were all really supportive and happy to see another male entering the nursing profession. The next thing I knew I got accepted into the NYU Accelerated Nursing Program, and started in the fall of 2012.

Nursing school was a wonderful experience; I was psyched to be back in school and on my way to gaining valuable knowledge and experience. I was fortunate enough to have clinical rotations at all the top hospitals in New York City and have very supportive and knowledgeable professors. I was really interested in working in an ICU, but I remember most people advising new graduates to start their careers on a medical-surgical type of unit to get a better foundation of nursing skills. However in my last semester I took a critical care elective, and our professor told us on the last day of class, “If you want to be a bedside ICU nurse, go for it right away. Don’t listen to people when they tell you it’s too much to handle.”

I graduated in December of 2013 and would go on to pass my NCLEX in March of 2014. While I was looking for a job for the next couple months, I decided to start volunteering at New York Presbyterian Weill-Cornell Medical Center. I was lucky enough to be placed in the Cardiac ICU. This was a very exciting experience, and I got to observe how an intensive care unit was run as well as keep my nursing skills sharp. I got along very well with the nurses on the floor, and after a month was interviewed and hired for a nursing position. I was the first new graduate my manager had hired in the CCU, and it was a dream come true for me.

I started working in June 2014, and had 14 weeks of orientation. My preceptor Jennifer had been there for two years, and she had to basically start from scratch; from the many different cardiac drips, to the bedside procedures, and even how to handle death. I had to learn how to manage an intra-aortic balloon pump, have a Swan-Ganz catheter set-up for the doctors to manage pulmonary artery and  wedge pressures, calculate patient hemodynamics, manage an arctic sun, experience a code blue, and the list goes on. These were all things that were touched briefly in nursing school, and now I was actually executing them in real-life situations (kind of shocking looking back at it).  My preceptor was there and helped me every step of the way, to build a solid base and confidence of how to handle the acuity of the patients on the floor. In September I was taking care of patients on my own. Every day of work has been a tremendous learning experience, and there is so much more to take in. My next short-term goal will be to obtain my CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) Certification in June. I’m not quite sure where the future of nursing will take me, but it’s exciting to see how many options and specialties there are for advanced practice.

Recently a patient’s son was interested in becoming a nurse, and he asked me questions about my path, including why I wanted to be a nurse. All I could think about was that summer of 2011 when my grandpa brought upon me this thought of entering such an amazing field. Those hospital visits helped guide me to where I professionally stand today, and I know that my grandfather is proudly looking down on me.



MARK SAMIA, RN, MS(C)

MARK SAMIA, RN, MS(C)

I looked around as the room quickly filled up with excited, young women. I was the only guy in the room during one of the information sessions held by the College of Nursing at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Alberta. Surely there were other guys interested in a career in nursing. “Who was I kidding?”, I chided myself. Nursing was not my first choice. It was actually my backup plan after deciding on pursuing a degree in Fine Arts. I had been working relentlessly on my portfolio for a year, but the time spent in the studio alone proved to be valuable in examining what I really wanted to do in life. I attended the information session without any expectations and walked away with the impression that getting accepted into any nursing program was just as competitive as getting into an accredited art school in Canada. The day I received my acceptance letter in the Fine Arts program, I submitted my application to the College of Nursing.

            There are moments in life that one remembers distinctly and for me it was visual. In the late spring of 2000, I informed the program coordinator that I was withdrawing my application from the Fine Arts program. She looked me directly in the eye, and asked “Are you sure about this?” All I could see were the hazy oranges that painted the registrar’s office, my charcoal smudged fingers, and the rest of that summer beckoning. Who knew if I were to get accepted into the nursing program? I picked up my battered portfolio and left her office.

            I started my undergraduate nursing studies in the fall of 2000. There was another guy in my tutorial group who was older than myself and was on his second career. After a few weeks, I met other guys in the program who were also on their second careers. I often wondered back then if I were to have a second career after nursing. My Eureka moment to stay in the program came after my first clinical at a long-term care home. The charge nurse had remarked dryly that if any of the students can survive the “home”, then we can work anywhere. It was a make-or-break clinical for some of the first year students. One of the students in our group quit halfway through the clinical. That summer, the nursing home hired me as a nursing aide after my first year of nursing school and I continued to work there until the next summer.

            After my third year of nursing school, I was fortunate to work as what the province called Employed Nursing Student (ENS) at that time. My ENS experience in hemodialysis proved to be an eye opener as my father had been on HD for a number of years before he received his kidney transplant. I was completely unaware of the technicalities of this life-saving treatment until then. This experience also gave me a set of nursing skills that were unique as a student. In the spring of 2004, I received my Bachelors degree from the University of Alberta and was immediately hired in hemodialysis and in a surgical unit. My next career transition was joining the province-sponsored critical care program where I was hired to work in the cardiovascular ICU.

            My cardiac ICU preceptor noticed my HD background and observed that I was going from “famine to feast” as she called it. I was immersed in open heart surgeries, valve repairs, lung, and heart transplants – a bonanza for learning and whetting my skills. This ICU experience would prove valuable later when I applied for a job in Hawaii. My boyfriend and I were dating long distance at that time and we would meet every three weeks. On one of our trips to Hawaii, we learned how to surf and decided to move together to Hawaii “just for fun”. I wrote my NCLEX and on our next trip to Honolulu, I applied at two local hospitals. One of the hospitals offered me a full time/nights ICU position before the trip was over. It was a no brainer and I jumped on this wave of opportunity. In September 2007, a chance to sign-up as a super user for the Epic electronic health record came up. Call me an eager nurse, but I volunteered nonchalantly. Little did I know that this would be my introduction to nursing informatics.  

            One of the many things I enjoyed about being a nurse is the endless opportunities for continued learning and to connect with different types of people, whether they may be the patient or a colleague. My own stereotypes of what nurses do and where nurses can work were also shattered. In the process of applying to graduate school, I started working as a House Supervisor (to save some much needed tuition money) in a 158-bed acute care hospital. Besides being responsible for the overall service flow, I fielded requests for difficult IV starts, transported and monitored patients in the Emergency Department when the ER was slammed, booked emergency OR cases (and scrubbed in at one time), participated in Codes and Rapid Responses, reassured an irate patients and families – never a dull moment! It is during these hectic times when thoughts about changing careers came to my head. Nothing came up and I couldn’t imagine what I would do besides nursing.

            My experience as an Epic super user piqued my interest in informatics, an area of nursing that I previously had not considered. What I enjoyed the most was teaching other nurses and some doctors during the implementation period. Going back to grad school after a nine-year hiatus was a minor shock to my system. Along with the cacophony of living in New York City, I had to adjust to being a fulltime international student. The Concept-Based Learning style I was exposed to in undergrad made me self-driven, a quick learner and a critical thinker in a profession that is constantly evolving.

            During one of our early tutorial sessions, the instructor asked our group why we went into nursing. Many of the women in my group remarked that they had always wanted to be a nurse. One of them said she wanted to go to Africa as a nurse, because it had always been her “calling.” And she had also never seen a giraffe! At that time I felt like an elephant in the room as I didn’t know what I wanted out of nursing and didn’t think of it as a “calling”. I’ve never felt compelled to use “calling” to describe my vocation in nursing. Instead of a “calling”, I would liken it to riding a wave, where one will meet many different people who are also on different parts of the same wave, at different times. Ride that wave as long as you can and take every chance to learn. And don’t forget to have fun!

Mark Samia is a graduate student in the Informatics tract at NYU College of Nursing where he is expected to graduate in the spring 2015 semester. His Capstone Project is titled Automating the CAUTI and CLABSI Case Review Process is being conducted in collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill-Cornell hospital. Mark divides his time between New York, Hawaii and Canada

.