Why Nurses Choose to Serve

by Kathryn Salamone

HEALTHYEDGE asked several nurses why nursing was the right choice for them, the choice that counted.

Francesca Palazzolo, RN
Maternal and Child Health

I chose nursing as my profession because it had been my dream for as far back as I can remember. I started my nursing classes in high school and volunteered at a near by hospital.

From then on, I knew nursing was the right profession for me. Since I work with new mothers and newborns, I enjoy special rewards in nursing. Here at Trinitas, the population I care for is culturally diverse. Through them I get to understand and learn about so many different cultures.

My work is gratifying because the babies I care for depend on me to meet their most basic needs. Just to see their little innocent faces puts a smile on my face.

Roberta Heath, BSN, RN
Operating Room

I truly believe that I have been "called" to give care to others. A student nurse who helped me through a difficult labor was the person who made me consider nursing. Her dedication soothed and comforted me. I wanted to be part of a group dedicated to caring for others.

My first visit to an operating room convinced me that it was the environment I wanted to work in every day.

I've been in the OR for 36 years where I see a spectrum of care delivered to children, adults, those who are aged. Beyond patients, operating room nurses interface regularly with family members and the bond that forms between nurses and families is often instantaneous and sometimes lasting.

The varied disciplines that work together in the operating room setting share a single-minded focus - the patient. We are committed

Ronald Bornstad, RN
Medical-Surgical, Renal and Telemetry

I became interested in learning about medicine when I was a young boy. Learning about the human body in great detail was very intriguing to me - so was the idea of nursing. My math and science interests have also helped me make a difference in the health and care of others. When I finished my first clinical rotation at the Trinitas School of Nursing, I realized that nursing was a great fit for me.

The school's aggressive and disciplined approach to nursing education gives me confidence every day. I care for patients who have typical as well as complex care needs and I frequently find myself responding to their spiritual and emotional needs as well.

The exceptional nurses and other health professionals I work with at Trinitas Regional Medical Center make each day satisfying.

Meg Gold, RN
Brother Bonaventure Extended Care Center

As the oldest of five children, my mother looked to me to take care of my younger siblings. As a young teen, I watched a nurse care for my grandfather during his battle with cancer. It was then that I knew that

I wanted to be a nurse. With nearly two decades in long-term care in the sub-acute unit, I've been fortunate to see people make progress under the guidance and assistance of our multidisciplinary team. Making a contribution to that effort is priceless.

Judy Cadavillo, LPN
Brother Bonaventure Extended Care Center

My nursing skills and knowledge as a licensed practical nurse help me lend helping hands to comfort and heal. In my work with the geriatric population, I'm committed to their good health and to their quality of life.

I look forward to adding many years of service to my 15 years caring for the geriatric population at Trinitas Regional Medical Center.

Maureen "Rene" Herold, RN
Brother Bonaventure Extended Care Center

I wanted to be in a career of service to others. That desire plus my deep compassion for the sick and less fortunate were strong pushes for me to go into nursing. Science and anatomy were strong interests of mine as well.

My current work with those in a rehabilitative and long term care facility allows me to see the progress that patients can make over a period of time. Escorting someone out upon discharge gives me a great feeling since I can see that I've made a difference. Establishing close relationships with patients and their families makes my work worth it each week.

With my 26 years in nursing associated with Trinitas Regional Medical Center and its predecessors, I feel as if I've been part of a second family and worked at a place that's been a second home.

Kim McKinney, RN

Bedside nursing and the ability to interact with patients and their families has been my goal and my calling. In my role as a pediatrics nurse, I see children and their families in the inpatient setting. As nurses in pediatrics, we have the chance to serve patients from a diverse urban population who present a variety of needs.

I am rewarded every time a child smiles at me and responds to the care

I may give, even in the most stressful and sometimes painful situations. The thanks that parents express is one of the most gratifying rewards

Jennifer J. Mattaliano, RN, BSN, OCN
Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center

I realized that nursing would be a good fit for me because I enjoy hands-on interaction with people.

I use my knowledge and critical thinking skills during assessment and treatment of my patients.

As an oncology nurse, I enjoy caring for patients who I see weekly for their treatments. I form relationships with them and really get to know them as people. I think that helps with the quality of care I give.

When people ask me what kind of nurse I am, they are frequently surprised and sad. But, I smile and explain that I love my job. I consider myself lucky to be caring for cancer patients because they are usually very positive and do not take things for granted. Every day is rewarding for me as I take care of amazing patients who truly appreciate what I do for them. A simple smile from a patient is such a gift.

Grace Ragona, RNC, OCN
Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center

As a child, I always looked up to those "perfect-looking women in white with their starched caps and white shoes." I used to think that warmth and caring flowed from them. After a short detour into another career, I decided to pursue my true calling.

Being an oncology nurse poses countless opportunities to nurture, teach and comfort patients. I am particularly thankful that I chose this field especially since my husband recently had a recurrence of a cancer he had some years ago. My experience as an oncology nurse for almost 25 years helped me to care for him confidently and we survived our crisis.

My co-workers and our day-to-day interactions with our patients make going to work at Trinitas something I look forward to everyday. At the end of the day, there is a sense that I have done something "good" for someone.

Valerie Ramsberger, RN
Director of Palliative Care

My first interest was to enter the Navy to participate in a nursing program that offered financial aid for the last two years of college. Although I did not end up in the Navy, the nursing curriculum was a great start for me.

My career in nursing has included more than 25 years in emergency nursing. I loved the daily challenges and the collaborative environment.

My transition into palliative care nursing has been an outgrowth of both personal and professional experience.

While some people are uncomfortable with end-of-life situations, I receive extraordinary personal satisfaction when I am able to assist patients and families during this time in their lives. The rewards of working at Trinitas Regional Medical Center rest with the opportunities to work with patients and their families.

In addition, I work with a great team of professionals who make palliative care a reality at Trinitas on a daily basis.

Melida Pelaez, RN
Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Unit

Nursing was my career choice because I always enjoyed caring for people from "head to toe." As a psychiatric nurse, I work with the child and adolescent psychiatric population.

I enjoy the rewards of working with both patients and their families, seeing the progress from admission through day of discharge. The growth and change I observe among my patients is a daily remainder that I've made the right choice.

Irina Spivak, RN
Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Unit

As I considered nursing, I believed that the intriguing field of psychiatric nursing could offer me many options.

In my work, I notice that children today seem to be suffering from many more complex problems and are facing more difficulties coping than ever before. My work provides me with rewards that I see each day as my interactions with these patients make a difference.

The programs and structure of the patient care unit together with my co-workers makes my work challenging and gratifying every day.

Tanisha Smith, RN
Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatric Unit

The human mind, especially a young person's mind, is fascinating to me. It's a privilege for me to care for children during some of their most vulnerable moments. My work involves not only educating these patients on their medications but also facilitating support groups where they can express themselves and also learn how to make better choices. I often interact in one-on-one settings, too.

I'm proud to be part of the intensive and extensive psychiatric care program that Trinitas Regional Medical Center offers.


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