Men in Nursing 2017 (G-L)

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Men in Nursing 2017 (G-L)

Their career choices, meaningful patient experiences and sources of daily inspiration

By Working Nurse
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Leo Gallo

Leo Gallo, RN, BSN, CCRN • ICU Charge Nurse and House Supervisor • Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare, Pomona

How did you choose your specialty?

While I was working on a medical-surgical/ telemetry unit, I was given the opportunity to train and float in the ICU. I was amazed at how knowledgeable and team-oriented all the ICU nurses were and wanted to be part of a similar team. After my training period, they asked if I had ever thought about working in the ICU, since there was a recent opening. I gladly took the position and haven’t looked back. About a year ago, I transferred to Casa Colina, where I have been given the opportunity to really grow as a nurse.

Tell us a little about your day-to-day.

On the days I am the charge nurse, I ensure that everything on the unit is in proper order and take care of the smaller back-end details so the nurses can focus on providing the best care possible. On the days and nights I am the house supervisor, I monitor that each unit is running smoothly and act as a hospital-wide resource, which often means relieving breaks, resolving patient or family conflicts and ensuring that staffing needs are met for the oncoming shift.

What do you know now that you wish you’d learned earlier in your career?

Like most new grads, I struggled with time management. If I could go back and teach myself a lesson, it would be a crash course in time management and the differences between being busy and being productive.

Todd Griner

Todd Griner, RN, MSN, NEA-BC • Executive Director, Critical Care Services • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles

What inspired you to become a nurse?

I remember riding past the local hospital in the back seat of my parents’ car when I was probably 5 or 6, thinking, “I’m going to park in that parking lot and work there someday.” Later, there would be nurses in church wearing scrubs who would leave early to go to work. My mom would tell me that it was okay because they had to take care of sick people. When I told my parents I wanted to be a nurse, my mom said, “You can be anything — why would you want to be a nurse?” She explained that being a nurse or teacher were girls’ only choices when she graduated in the 1950s. I told her I like serving people, can live anywhere and will always be needed. I feel the same way today.

How has technology changed the way you work?

I feel fortunate to have practiced during a period of technological transition and have an understanding of care before EHRs, automated dispensing and online reference. In the first years of my career, we routinely faxed documents and charting was on paper. Our drug reference was chained to the nurses’ station, and we’d get a new one each year. Pharmacy would deliver patient-specific cassettes to our medication carts, which beeped loudly if you didn’t close the door all the way. Pagers were prevalent and work cellphones were rare.

What do you know now that you wish you’d learned earlier in your career?

More and more, I understand the importance of timing. Accepting the significance of timing — clinically, operationally and personally — makes space for contentment when things don’t go as hoped.

 

Edward T. Haley, RN ER • Nurse/Mobile ICU Nurse • Providence Holy Cross Medical Center Mission Hills

Tell us briefly about your career path.

I got my roots in healthcare working as a student nurse’s aide. When I graduated in 1980, I was able to quickly put my skills to work. My first two years post-graduation were in medical-surgical nursing. This gave me the experience to transfer to the ICU, where I stayed for five years. That gave me the readiness I needed to pursue a career in the ER, where I have been ever since. In addition to my deep expertise in emergency and trauma services, I serve as a mobile intensive care unit nurse, guiding paramedics in the field during 911 calls. More than that, I am a liaison, a voice and an advocate for patients and their families in a place that is never ordinary.

How has technology changed the way you work?

It has not only eased my day-to-day efforts, but also improved patient care. However, my role has always been about healing the person, so I am mindful to not allow technology to take the place of the human component our patients deserve. I continually strive to find the balance.

What do you know now that you wish you’d learned earlier in your career?

Because of the often difficult nature of the things we see every day, you have to learn to accept failure along with success. Also, nothing stays the same, so be open to learning something new every day.

 

Armstrong Hao

Armstrong Hao, RN, CPN • Registered Nurse II/Charge Nurse, Emergency Department • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

How did you choose your specialty?

The emergency department is known for being a fast-paced environment. Patients may have anything from a sore throat to a complicated, critical condition. I like to be challenged and kept on my toes; not knowing what patients may present during my shift keeps me going. I thrive on the adrenaline rush I get stabilizing a critical patient, and as a Level I trauma center, we at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles must be prepared to receive the most critical trauma patients.

How has technology changed the way you work?

The most significant change has been the increased use of computers. When I started, we were solely charting on paper. Back in the day, we did not have machines like the CLINITEK urine analyzer to automatically run urine samples for us. We had to manually compare the samples to color keys while trying to avoid dripping pee all over ourselves and the equipment.

What do you know now that you wish you’d learned earlier in your career?

Taking the time to step back and breathe. The emergency department can be extremely stressful. Sometimes, the best approach to a difficult situation is to stop and take a breath.

 

Mark Iniego

Mark Iniego, RN • Cath Lab • Adventist Health Glendale

Tell us about your career path.

After taking the NCLEX, I joined the new grad program at Glendale Adventist. I was assigned to the Cardiac Interventional Telemetry Unit (CITU), where I spent the next five years. During this time, I also worked as adjunct faculty at the local community college’s RN program. I managed the nursing resources lab, proctoring the use of high-fidelity patient simulators that created real-life patient scenarios for the nursing students.

Tell us a little about your specialty area.

Our cath lab is unique in that we do not separate the different specialties. We combine cardiovascular, neurovascular, interventional radiology, electrophysiology testing and ablation into one cohesive unit. I am in charge of the cath lab room, which is assigned at the start of the day. As the RN on the team, I manage the hemodynamic and moderate sedation monitoring as well as medication administration. Most importantly, I manage patients’ safety and comfort, sometimes offering to say a small prayer before and after their procedures.

Please share a meaningful patient experience.

Just recently, we got a stroke call in the middle of the night. We used a revascularization device to retrieve a blood clot and transferred the patient to the ICU. A few days later, we saw her walking into our control room without any help, wearing high-heeled shoes! The patient looked well and was very thankful for the work that our team did. This moment was especially meaningful because we rarely see the outcome of our work.

 

Ronnel Leones

Ronnel Leones, ­RN, CCRN • Registered Nurse II, ICU • Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Downey

What inspired you to become a nurse?

Both my parents are nurses and they encouraged me to become a nurse. I have always been interested in the medical field and I find pleasure in fixing things. In a way, nurses are helping to “fix” people who are damaged, whether it is physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.

Please share a meaningful patient experience.

I once took care of a patient with an incurable disease. He was a personal trainer who had assisted many actors and actresses. We got to know each other well during my shift. He even showed me a photo book of himself with famous people. The next day, I was assigned to a different, gravely sick patient and was too busy to talk with the patient from the day before, even though he was attempting to get my attention. I figured I would talk to him the next day. However, the next day, I learned the patient had passed away during the night shift. This has had a tremendous impact on my day-to-day interactions with all patients. I know that I cannot take care of every patient, but I now take the extra time to acknowledge all patients, whether they are assigned to me or not.

What do you know now that you wish you’d learned earlier in your career?

Humility. I started out in nursing when I was 22 years old; I was one of the youngest on the unit, with the least experience. The more I learned, the more overconfident I became. Later, I started working in the surgical/trauma ICU at Harbor UCLA and that overconfidence quickly disappeared. No matter how much you know, being personable and approachable to both your coworkers and your patients is important in creating a harmonious environment where both staff and patients will benefit.

 

Brandon Loop

Brandon Loop, RN, MSN • Assistant Nurse Manager • Providence St. Joseph Little Company of Mary Medical Center, Torrance

How did you choose your specialty?

I realized that I wanted to be an expert nurse, someone that other nurses relied on and trusted. I felt the best way to do this would be to work in the acute care setting.  As assistant manager, I juggle everything from scheduling and staffing to productivity measures, but I am also very hands-on. I cover breaks for my nurses, help run codes, educate where needed and transport patients.

Please share a meaningful patient experience.

One of my most memorable moments was when I was able to give my own blood to a patient in my care. While caring for a patient in the recovery unit, I told him that I was going to give him a unit of blood. I remarked that he and I shared the same blood type and jokingly mentioned that he might get mine, since I had just donated about a week earlier. When I received the blood, I checked the number and it was indeed the unit I had donated! The shock on my patient’s face slowly changed to a small grin. He stuck out his hand and said, “Thank you — for everything.” That day, I felt I had really made a difference in someone’s life.

What do you know now that you wish you’d learned earlier in your career?

You will not save everyone, and that’s all right. I used to get caught up trying to save everyone from everything. At some point, you realize that no matter how hard you try, no matter how badly you want to save someone, it’s just their time.

 

 

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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