Men in Nursing 2015

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Men in Nursing 2015

Breaking down barriers, building up lives

By Working Nurse
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Photo above, left to right, top to bottom: Leo Gerardo Bautista, Roni Eapen, Cody K. Limone, Jeffrey Woods, Craig Anthony Romero, Daniel A. Moreno, Lorenzo Jesus Galindo, Andrew Ausland, Cesar Rosas, Mohamad Alinejad, Haik Yapoudjian, Stephen Mapes, Robert Woll, Rolondo R.F. Mamril, Thomas Leon Covington, Jason R. Tabor. 


Andrew Ausland, RN, BSN, MICN, Nurse Manager, Emergency Department
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, Los Angeles


Tell us a little about your career path.

I started out on a path to become a child psychologist. I moved into sales after college, but sales didn’t seem to fit, so I looked into nursing, which to me is a more holistic scope of caring for the patient.

How did you choose your specialty?

In nursing school, I was considering critical care/ICU and did rotations in other departments, but once I did my rotation in the emergency department, that was done. I’m an adrenaline junkie — I grew up playing sports and I’m into extreme sports like mountain biking, surfing and wakeboarding — so the ED just drew me in.

How does your area use new healthcare technology?

Our bedside monitors are integrated with our EHR so that all vital sign information flows into our EHR monitor system. When we do an EKG, that rhythm reading can automatically flow right into the patient’s chart for the physician to see in real time.

We use a service that provides audio and/or video translation of more than 200 languages, which is a huge help with our patient community. We also have a telehealth machine for audio-video neurology consultation when a patient presents with stroke-like symptoms.

What was your happiest day in nursing?

About a year and a half ago, a woman sought me out. I didn’t recognize her, but she told me that I had taken care of her here two years earlier. She told me, “Because of the care you provided me, I always said that you were my angel. My daughter just had a son and she named him after you.” That encompasses why I got into this field: because of the way we care for patients and change lives.

★★★★★


Cesar Rosas, RN, BSN candidate, Critical Care Charge Nurse
PIH Health Hospital – Whittier


Tell us a little about your career path.

I started in the medical field 18 years ago as an X-ray technician. One of my patients was a nurse and encouraged me to pursue a career in nursing. I enjoyed taking care of my patients as a technician, so I decided to take her advice. I graduated from nursing school in 2002 and accepted a position at PIH Health on the respiratory floor. Shortly after, I had the opportunity to transfer to the Critical Care Center, where I am now the charge nurse.

How did you choose your specialty?

I transitioned into critical care because I wanted to provide care to acute and critically ill patients, which is a huge but rewarding challenge. When your 12-hour shift is over and you see clinical evidence of improvement, you feel a strong sense of accomplishment.

What was your happiest day in nursing?

When I first started in nursing, one particular patient and her family expressed their sincere appreciation, shared words of wisdom and gave me support that I had never experienced before. Fresh out of school, hearing those words just validated why I became a nurse.

★★★★★


Cody K. Limone, RN, BSN, CEN, TNCC, MICN, Emergency Department
Redlands Community Hospital


Describe briefly the nature of your work.

My job is to triage walk-in and ambulance patients and provide care based on priority and need. Our patients range from neonates to geriatrics, which requires me to know the normal and abnormal assessment findings for each individual population.

How did you choose your specialty?

Ever since deciding I wanted to become a nurse, I knew I wanted to work in the emergency department. The main things I love are the fast pace and the diversity. You can have a pediatric needing surgery in one room and a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis going to the ICU in the next room.

What are some of the ways nurses are improving care in your area?

My department is implementing a new tracking system to better track which ambulance patients are here and how long they have been waiting so we can more quickly get them into beds.

We have also started a new process called “care cards.” After being seen by the provider, each patient receives a card that explains what tests/treatments they will be receiving and how long results will take once the test is done.

What was your happiest day in nursing?

One day, I had a middle-aged man come in with stroke-like symptoms. The CT scan showed a bleed, so the patient was soon evaluated and taken to surgery and then later to the ICU. The patient and his family were very nice and I enjoyed spending a few hours with him.

Fast forward a few months and I got a tap on my shoulder at a local concert. It was the patient and his wife. They were so thankful for the care I helped provide and the time I took to make sure they understood everything that was going on. It was very humbling to hear months later that they still remembered my name and were appreciative of all the care they received.


★★★★★

Glendale Adventist Medical Center

• Craig Anthony Romero, RN, Medical-Surgical Staff Nurse
How did you choose your specialty?

One factor was having a mother who has been a RN for 20+ years and hearing her heartfelt stories. However, what most impacted my decision to work as a medical-surgical RN was witnessing my father having multiple admissions as a patient. The many admissions to various hospitals also meant many different nurses providing care for him. I was able to see how much of a positive impact RNs can have on people.  


• Haik Yapoudjian, RN, BSN, House Supervisor
Tell us a little about your career path.

Soon after the 1988 earthquake in Armenia (where I grew up), I witnessed nursing and healthcare in crisis. It sparked my strong desire to help humankind. Right after high school, I went to nursing school.

What is your greatest nursing accomplishment?

Being recognized by my colleagues and being named Nurse of the Year during National Nurses Week. It felt good to know that in nursing, you not only leave a positive impression on patients, but also on your colleagues.


• Mohamad Alinejad, RN, BSN, PHN, Relief Charge Nurse, Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit
Describe the nature of your work.

As a relief charge nurse on the psychiatric intensive care unit, most of my time is spent providing direct care to patients who are often dangerous and out of touch with reality. It can be draining when they are unable to recognize that the help they need is right in front of them and refuse to accept the treatment. Later, I came to understand the vulnerable population I was working with and really started enjoying the work. The support I get from family and colleagues helps me do my best and gives me the desire to keep coming back.


• Rolondo R. F. Mamril, RN, BSN, PHN, Charge Nurse, Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit
Describe briefly the nature of your work.

I work in a 19-bed psychiatric intensive care unit. Most of our patients are here on an involuntary basis and are considered a danger to themselves or others. As the charge nurse of the unit, it is my responsibility to ensure the safety of the patients and my staff.

How does your area use new healthcare technology?

Currently, we are working on improving the throughput time for patient admissions from the emergency department to our unit. Over the past several months, we have been able to cut wait times significantly through the use of newer technology. We use TeleTracking to identify patients who need a bed on our unit. A text message is then sent to the charge nurse, indicating that a pending admission exists, and then the bed and nurse are assigned. The sending and receiving nurses can communicate the hand-off report using cellphones.


★★★★★


Lorenzo Jesus Galindo, RN, BSN, ASPAN, MSN candidate
Charge Nurse, Post-Anesthesia Care Unit
San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, Banning


Tell us a little about your career path.

I started off as an LVN, working at Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Medical Center. Upon obtaining my ADN degree with magna cum laude honors, I worked for nearly two years as a supervisor of patient care while pursuing my BSN degree.  I decided to return to bedside nursing to improve my skills and started working at San Gorgonio in the direct observation unit prior to transferring to the surgical department in a leadership position.

What are some of the ways nurses are improving care in your area?

Our staff has learned how to make our patients and their families better prepared mentally, physically and emotionally prior to surgery. This allows them to have better surgical outcomes, lower infection rates and shorter hospital stays. Other hospitals in our area are even inquiring how we are able to discharge our patients so much faster with excellent results.  

How does your area use new healthcare technology?

Our department utilizes a web-based EMR for patients coming in with hip fractures that is proven to cut down patient stays, reduce infection rates and prioritize patients for surgery sooner and more efficiently.

Our hospital also has an electronic charting system that allows us to view and trace patient history, labs, X-rays, outside visits and more to keep us up to date on what is going on with the patient. We recently installed up-to-date monitors for our gastroenterology lab and PACU areas that can trace and detect changes in patient condition and alert the nurse and physician.

What is your greatest nursing accomplishment?

Graduating with my BSN with summa cum laude honors was the high point of my career because it enabled me to pursue my dreams of leadership, management and education.

★★★★★


Leo Gerardo Bautista, RN, BSN, CNOR, TNCC
Operating Room Nurse II and Member, Open Heart Team
St. Francis Medical Center, Lynwood

Tell us a little about your career path.

After passing the Philippine Board Examination for Physicians in 1986, I taught physiology and pharmacology at Lyceum-Northwestern University, my alma mater. In 1989, I joined the Eastern Pangasinan District Hospital as an ob-gyn resident and later its chief. I had planned to further my studies and possibly practice in the U.S., but when I finally arrived in 1998, I saw that there were more opportunities for foreign graduates in nursing than in medicine. I decided to change career paths and went back to the Philippines to pursue a BSN degree.

I returned to the U.S. in 2005, passed the NCLEX-RN and started as a regular staff nurse at St. Francis Medical Center. To further my career, I am now enrolled in the MSN program of the University of Phoenix. I am also considering joining the management team as a clinical supervisor.

How did you choose your specialty?

Since I had been an ob-gyn physician in the Philippines, I started in the St. Francis labor and delivery department. However, I wanted to be sensitive to patients as well as staff, which was predominantly female.  So I moved to the medical-surgical department.

When a post in the surgery department became available, I applied, got accepted and never looked back. I fell in love with my work. There is no comparison to the feeling of fulfillment that comes with each successful surgery or operation — or the heartbreak that ensues otherwise.

What was your happiest day in nursing?

One of the happiest days of my nursing career was being acknowledged by our director of the perioperative services and nominated as one of the Outstanding Men in Nursing. To be honored for a job that gives you the opportunity to be in a place where you want to be, doing exactly what you enjoy doing, is truly an achievement. For that, I am eternally grateful.

★★★★


Daniel A. Moreno, RN, MHA, Cardiovascular Service Line Administrator
White Memorial Medical Center, Los Angeles


Tell us a little about your career path.

I started working in hospitals at 14 years old as a junior volunteer. I wanted to be a surgeon, but I realized I wanted more patient contact, which nursing would allow. I went straight on to get my BSN and started working on a med-surg floor. I always enjoyed the surgical aspects of nursing. As I gained experience and exposure, I learned post-op open heart care; it fascinated me. I then expanded my experience to cardiology in general and later expanded that skill to the service line role. I progressed to managing a cardiac service line and have been doing that ever since.

What are some of the ways nurses are improving care in your area?

In invasive cardiology, we are working on improving emergent cardiac care through the STEMI [ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction] program and decreasing our door-to-balloon times for myocardial infarctions. In addition, we are working on becoming a Certified Chest Pain Center, improving patient outcomes through evidenced-based, protocol-driven care.

How does your area use new healthcare technology?

Invasive cardiology is expanding its horizons with new technology. Treatments such as percutaneous valve replacements are a prime example. This technology allows us to replace a valve by placing a catheter in the groin and delivering a new valve through the old valve. Patients can go home in a few days without a large chest incision!

What was your happiest day in nursing?

I once took care of a young 20-year-old patient who survived two years after a lung transplant for cystic fibrosis. The night she finally passed away, the family was in my unit and we had a party celebrating her life. They thanked us for giving her two years in which she had a job, didn’t need oxygen and was finally able to paint her nails. The family was so appreciative of how we impacted their lives. It’s something I will never forget.


★★★★★


Roni Eapen, RN, MSN, GNP, PHN, Director of Acute Care Services
Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Van Nuys


Tell us a little about your career path.

I started my career as a certified nursing assistant, so I know the value of working hard through the ranks and staying focused on achieving goals. After receiving my associate degree in nursing, I worked on an orthopedic/oncology unit while pursuing my BSN.

I went on to achieve a master’s degree in nursing at UCLA and was certified as a geriatric nurse practitioner. Upon receiving my master’s degree, I was appointed to a clinical nurse educator role, which led to an assistant director position. Recently, I was promoted to director of acute care services.

How did you choose your specialty?

I chose to specialize in geriatric nursing because I enjoy working with senior adults. Seniors make up the majority of patients in the healthcare industry and managing their chronic conditions can be clinically challenging. I take pride in seeing these patients get back on their feet after an ailment. In many cases, they are healthier and stronger.

What was your happiest day in nursing or your greatest nursing accomplishment?

My happiest day in nursing was obtaining my master’s degree. That was a lifetime goal and it gave me a sense of pride, as I am the first one in my family to obtain an advanced degree. Achieving my master’s degree has also been my greatest nursing accomplishment. My education has provided many opportunities for me in the nursing arena.


★★★★★


Jeffrey Woods, RN, MSN, CMSRN Manager, Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Units
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles


Describe briefly the nature of your work.

I am the servant leader for 150 employees and have primary clinical, financial and administrative oversight for the 63 beds that make up the hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant units.

How did you choose your specialty?

My specialty found me via my mentors, Peachy Hain, RN, MSN, and Linda Burnes Bolton, RN, DPH, FAAN, who have always been able to find opportunities for me to be challenged and grow.

What are some of the ways nurses are improving care in your area?

One of the major ways that we are improving the care we deliver is via our progression-of-care rounds, which occur daily. These rounds bring together all the members of the clinical care team with our physician advisor to review the patient’s plan of care and ensure that we continue to move the patient’s care forward.

How does your area use new healthcare technology?

We are in the process of implementing Beacon, which is the oncology module of our electronic medical record system. We have full device integration between our EMR and our Alaris IV pumps and bedside vital signs monitors. That, coupled with our barcoded medication administration and integrated Pyxis station, allows our nurses to spend more time at the bedside.

What was your most memorable day in nursing?

About 10 years ago, I cared for an 18-year-old man who had just been diagnosed with testicular cancer and had to have an orchiectomy. I remember that he was bright and cheerful at the start of my shift, but I noticed that as the day went on, he became more somber and withdrawn.

The next time I was in his room, I asked him what was going on. At first, he just said he was having a bad day, so I asked if I could sit on the side of his bed. I put my hand on his shoulder and told him that I was there for him. At that moment, he started crying and said that he was worried he would never be able to have children.

I have always relied heavily on my sense of humor to help lift my patients’ spirits, but in that moment, I realized that humor would not take away his fear. So, I just sat there with my hand on his shoulder and let him cry.

A little while later, he stopped crying, wiped his eyes and said thank you. A little stunned, I asked, “What for?” He told me thanks for not telling him not to cry and for not telling him it would get better and that there were options.

He said I was the first person that just let him cry and express his fear and sadness.

That was the day I realized that the most powerful thing a nurse can do is just be present for a patient — that we don’t need to fix or solve every problem. To this day, I try to practice just being present for my patients and staff, free of judgment or agenda — just being in the moment with them.

 
★★★★★


Stephen Mapes, RN, BSN, Acute Rehabilitation Unit
Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare, Pomona


Describe briefly the nature of your work.

Acute rehabilitation nursing includes caring for patients who are recovering from diagnoses such as cerebrovascular accident [stroke], brain injury, spinal cord injury, orthopedic surgeries and more. The goal in rehabilitation is to help patients recover as much functionality as they possibly can and help them to return to an active life in the community. However, the road to recovery can be complex. A rehab nurse understands the needs and goals of their patients and the steps needed to help achieve them.

How did you choose your specialty?

I started out in emergency nursing, which is an awesome opportunity to develop critical thinking abilities and sharpen skills. I later made the decision to switch to acute rehabilitation nursing, which gave me an opportunity to use those skills while at the same time learning another type of nursing care in a very different environment.

I once had a rehab patient who was virtually immobile during hospitalization come back to visit me. Seeing that patient walking around that day reminded me of why I became a rehabilitation nurse.

What are some of the ways nurses are improving care in your area?

Nurses are improving care by utilizing various systems such as the fall risk assessment, the medication error reduction plan and the safety band system, which allows multidisciplinary personnel to quickly identify risk factors for each patient and determine what level of assistance is required. We also recently implemented our electronic health record and bedside medication barcode scanning system, both of which help reduce medication errors.

How does your area use new healthcare technology?

Casa Colina uses an electronic medical record system that is customizable in many aspects of nursing care. We also have ceiling-installed Hoyer lifts that can move a patient from the bed to bathroom with minimal physical work by the staff member.

What was your happiest day in nursing?

My happiest day in nursing was the day several patients who came to the emergency department requested to have me as their nurse. My former preceptor, who was a senior nurse and very well respected, found me in front of a group of nurses and told me the patients had requested me, saying that he was proud to have watched me grow as a nurse.

 

★★★★★


Thomas Leon Covington, RN, Lead Nurse – Night Shift, Oncology Unit 4West
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles


Tell us a little about your career path.

My path in nursing began as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1968, followed by attending the Los Angeles Trade Technical College LVN program, followed by an RN program. During my LVN pediatric rotation, I was assigned to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. I loved the work habits and caring attitude of the staff at CHLA and requested part-time employment there. It’s now 45 years later and I am still finding joy in my work.

How did you choose your specialty?

There were a couple of managers on 4West during my initial days at CHLA who mentored me and encouraged me to come on board and continue learning and growing in nursing. The unit was so special and we were able to give from the heart to provide the best care to our patients. We grew from an active large med-surg unit to our new hematology/ oncology-focused unit.

What are some of the ways nurses are improving care in your area?

Over the years, there have been changes that present-day staff would find hard to believe. Back then, we had functional tools at our disposal. Today, we have state-of-the-art equipment and support items that enhance our efforts and care.

What was your greatest nursing accomplishment and happiest day in nursing?

My greatest accomplishment in nursing is having my wife and son working at CHLA with me. My happiest day in nursing was passing two days of boards in 1970 and receiving my license. Being a nurse is more than a job for me — it is the fulfillment of my way of life to serve and give back every day.


★★★★★


Jason R. Tabor, RN, BSN, MBA candidate, Assistant Clinical Nurse Manager
City of Hope, Duarte


What are your thoughts on management? There is a misconception out there that once you leave bedside nursing to become a manager, you are no longer a nurse. I can guarantee that this is not true. I am still a registered nurse and proud to be one. However, my role has changed. Management is very challenging. You have to make quick decisions that some staff may not like. There is a lot of juggling of meetings, tasks and relationships across the organization, and constant networking.

At the foundation of my practice is patient-centered care. I achieve that by empowering my RNs. I want to be their greatest cheerleader. I want to give them the tools, resources and support that will allow them to be the best nurses they can be. That is what I love to do.

How did you choose your specialty?

I chose to transition away from inpatient care and the ICU because I wanted to see healthcare from a different perspective. It is easy in the day-to-day grind to only see your life and your problems, to have a narrow view.

I am currently enrolled in a MBA program for healthcare management. Since being in a leadership role, I have seen that nurses don’t have a strong business background. In order for nurses to be at the decision table, we must learn to speak the language. For years, other professions have made decisions on our behalf. My belief is that nurses should be making the decisions for nurses, not letting another profession dictate our profession. I want to continue to be an advocate for nurses, making decisions that will strengthen our profession.

How does your area use new healthcare technology?

Electronic health records are changing the face of healthcare. Nursing has to be at the frontline of these innovations and has to be at the decision table in order to bring these innovations to fruition. My organization has inpatient, outpatient, research, and community clinics. We are continually improving our EHR systems to be more efficient and effective. The outpatient nurses sit on a taskforce to develop an EHR system that is user- friendly and helps them in their daily work. We have an innovations workteam that is bringing in new technologies to the organization that will streamline our patient care and provide better data, which will lead to improved outcomes.

What is your greatest nursing accomplishment?

That is difficult to answer. I have had so many great experiences as a nurse. I am enjoying my current role so much. I love building up nurses. I love mentoring and seeing growth. The fun part makes the challenging stuff seem small.


★★★★★


Robert Woll, RN, BSN, PHN, House Supervisor/Charge RN – Surgery
Methodist Hospital, Arcadia


Tell us a little about your career path.

I graduated in 1999 with a B.A. in business administration and spent the next 10 years in retail store management. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, so in 2009, I went back to school for my BSN.

How did you choose your specialty?

My first specialty was orthopedics. That led to my teaching preoperative patients how to prepare for and recover from surgery. Those opportunities allowed me to specialize in management, first as a charge RN and then as house supervisor.

How does your area use new healthcare technology?

We use mobile workstations and do our charting electronically. As house supervisor, I am not tied to one specific location — I can access all necessary tools for patient history, placement and movement from anywhere in the hospital.

What was your happiest day in nursing?

To me, every day I have the opportunity to be a nurse is my happiest day.  ★

 

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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