Antonette received her Associate degree in Nursing from Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania. About 13 years later, she pursued her BSN and MSN from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a registered nurse she has experience in many areas including adult ICU, adult cardiac surgery, acute rehab, Electronic Health Record (EHR), and hospital regulatory and quality work. Currently, she is the membership chair and Assistant Treasurer for the Philippine Nurses Association of Southern California (a chapter of Philippine Nurses Association America).
Why did you want to become a nurse?
When I was 19 years old, I did not know what career path to pursue. A relative suggested nursing and so I applied. It was not long into the nursing program that I realized this is the profession for me. I enjoy connecting with people and helping them with their specific health concerns. My work now, as a regulatory and quality coordinator, is away from the bedside. I get to interpret State and Federal regulations in a way that front line nurses can understand. This is important because nurses want to provide the best patient care and regulations that support best practice. I manage collecting data that is then shared with nurses so that they see how their work impacts their patients’ outcomes.
How did you try to create a great patient experience?
I believe in being present for all my interactions. For me a great patient experience is making sure that I am calm, approachable, and actively listening to my patients. This helps establish trust, enhances relationships and encourages involvement of patients in their plan of care. In my current work, I use the same strategies when interacting with physicians, managers and staff. Healthcare is a team sport!
What do you think are some of the most challenging aspects of meeting patients’ needs?
Keeping the nurse present at the bedside is very challenging. Nurses are pulled in so many different directions which impacts the time spent being with their patients. In my personal experience, patients that perceive nurses as too busy to talk to them are more anxious and uncertain about their care.
How would you describe the ideal hospital environment?
I would recommend involving the nurses, and if possible, the patients in the design of the space - it would be awesome.
Who are your career role models and why?
Of course Florence Nightingale! She was a visionary – not only did she aspire to provide the best care for her patients but also collected data that supported her practice. I think that nursing is the best job because we get to do so many different things and positively impact the state of health of so many people.
Why do you love being a nurse?
There is no limit what to a nurse can do! For 20 years, as a nurse, I have experienced so many different roles. Connecting with people and making a positive difference fuels my passion for being a nurse. Also, I love that I am able to care for people’s health and well-being in the community through volunteering. This is a great time to be a nurse :)