Where are you from originally?
I did not find Nursing, Nursing found me, I believe my Mom being a caregiver started my path to serving others. Having young children and knowing how my parents struggled I had a deep desire to change my path and the path of others. Becoming an RN has been life-altering.
How long have you been a nurse?
I have been a nurse for 21 years
Tell us your thoughts about the Covid-19 pandemic and how it affected you, your family and friends?
I contracted Covid 19 in early March of 2020 from one of the undiagnosed patients I was taking care of. I was ill for a short time and spread the virus to my family. Once recovered I volunteered to work at St. Joe’s Hospital New York’s only designated covid center where we served 3,005 patients. My wife is the manager of Buffalo General Hospital’s MICU which was the dedicated Covid unit. Since the Pandemic our mindset has changed from worrying about the little things to enjoy the small moments. Nurses are not afraid to take the job they always wanted or move to the place they Love because they can. My wife and many other nurses suffer from PTSD r/t being Covid caregivers. I believe Nurses and Healthcare workers are more compassionate to one another despite the overwhelming demands right now.
What’s the most rewarding momment/s you’ve had in your career?
When I think back to all the amazing experiences in my nursing career a couple stand out. First, I was a pioneer Clinical instructor in the 2nd DEU program in the US when I was a staff nurse at Millard Fillmore Hospital on floor 8 west. The University at Buffalo’s Nursing DEU program is still used as a base model for many others. Through the years I have always worked on an education unit and been a lead preceptor. There is no greater reward than assisting another Nurse to be the best they can be. The second moment was when I was the guest speaker at my youngest sister,s Nursing Graduation ceremony. This was extra special as it was the program at E.C.C. Buffalo where I had graduated from 15 years earlier. She completed the Cyman kids, all 3 of us becoming RN’s.
What’s the best incentive for you to go above and beyond the call of duty at work?
I have developed a nursing intuition to which I open my mind. There is a spirit that touches souls within us all and as a nurse who has always been firm but compassionate, Knows nothing is black and white in what we do and provides Hope as a basis of Nursing. I have chosen to use The Power of Nursing to change my Life and the lives of those around me. For this Power am I privileged to know. This Power Is why I hear the Monday night football song in my head as I walk down the hall before work. I want to do more, know more. When I ask a student nurse “what kind of nurse do you want to be” most give a direct answer to a specialty but once in a while a student will say a “Great” nurse. That’s my incentive.
How do you decompress after a difficult day?
I’m fortunate to be able to come home and converse about my shift with my wife who is a much better nurse than I, Her listening or feedback allows me to let go of that ownership we have over our patients. With my biggest critic being myself she has learned to usually know exactly what to say or not say. She is my vent.
What do you do outside of work that makes you a better nurse?
When not at work I am physically active, I believe being physically fit by exercising, Hiking, Fishing assists with 13-hour shifts and the physical demands of our job. Being in the outdoors, around nature, and the energy I receive from the water and sun I am able to ease my mind and sooth my soul. This is much needed as we often forget to take care of ourselves. I also enjoy sports and the competitiveness of athletes. I coach my daughter,s soccer team of 7 and 8 year old children this definitely is not a stress reliever but helps me manage different situations.
How is nursing different than you thought it would be? What is, in your opinion, the most important affect you have had on people’s lives?
I believe I am an Advocate for others. firm but compassionate, Vested in understanding a person,s motivation. Nothing in nursing is black and white, no patient,s story is the same. When I step into that patient’s room no matter what is going on I feel like I belong there, comfortable, For this I am thankful. I can say I give Hope in whatever way that may be, What would life be if we did not have Hope.