In Their Own Words

Nurse leaders from Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System share meaningful pandemic insights and experiences.

“Motherhood is a transformative journey. It’s the process of giving profoundly of yourself, risking your health and committing yourself to raising and teaching a brand-new person. When mothers come to the hospital, I’m inspired by the love and commitment they show to their babies and families.

“In the midst of a pandemic, heat waves and fires that threatened our towns, mothers have shown some of the greatest bravery. When I look into their eyes, I see fear and hope. They hope to see the beautiful new face of their baby and hear that joyous first cry. They are brave enough to hope for the next generation. So, for me, coming to work is an honor. It’s an opportunity to witness the happiest days of their lives and support the original heroes, moms.”
– Aubree Collins, BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM

“I am inspired by the positive energy of collaboration within all levels of leadership and with the emphasis on helping nurses at all levels by creating the supportive environment they need to be successful. I love when someone says, ‘Thank you. I did not realize or look at it that way.’”
– Trini Juarez, MBA, BSN, RN Associate Chief Nursing Officer

“It definitely takes a village, and I am fortunate to work with a great team. The connections we make with our staff are what make me want to go the extra mile.”
– Kelly Flower, MSN/MHA, RN, CCRN-K, CNML
Clinical Manager, Critical Care

“The last two years have been a struggle, to say the least. We have all faced adversity and challenges we never saw coming. At times, it has been very defeating. However, it has also brought to light our inner strength and resilience.

“For me, this experience has been filled with challenge, growth, immense heartache, fear and personal strife. It has brought about a unique period of self-reflection. Since I began my career in the medical field, I have always felt it is a special honor to be present during the darkest and hardest times in another’s life. The ability to offer even a sliver of light to those around me in this darkness motivates me to always be present, always be available and always offer support even when I feel I have nothing left to give.

“At times, I do feel like I literally have nothing left, emotionally, physically or mentally. What inspires me to keep pushing forward is knowing that a kind touch, a caring gaze, a simple cup of coffee can be the gesture someone else needs to keep going.

“I take the same approach with my coworkers. I have often heard others say, ‘You are never not smiling!’ This is just me. Attitude spreads as easily as germs.

“I feel that being a nurse is not just a profession. It be-comes part of who you are. We faced the dangers head on and carried the burden so that others would have the care they deserved. My motivation stems from that. We will continue to deal with tough challenges, but we can be there for each other to ease the burden.”
– Stephanie Fierro, BSN, RN, CCRN
Intensive Care Unit

“Caring for others is who I am at my core. It brings peace to my soul and reinvigorates my psyche. I believe nursing needs people who can be calm, quiet and focused in the chaotic environment we often find ourselves in. If I can channel my strengths and creative ideas to improve my practice and influence others to do the same, I am better for it; and hopefully they are too.”
– Sheilah Quentin, BSN, RN III, CAPA, PHN

“It doesn’t take much effort to go the extra mile, spend a little bit more time or take on the additional steps to make a difference. If all of us are willing to put in a little extra or just do the right things, we’ll create a better environment for all of us.”
– Arnold Failano, MSN, MBA, RN, CNML Clinical Manager, Perianesthesia Services

From left to right: Trini Juarez – Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Lisa Paulo – Chief Nursing Officer, Carla Knight – Director of Perioperative Services, Carla Spencer – Senior Director Critical Care & Emergency Department, Agnes Lalata – Nursing Director, Vanessa Irwin Nieto – Director of Education, Troy Scott – Director Case Management, Kirsten Wisner – Magnet Program Director
From left to right: Megan Lopez – Staff Nurse III, Aubree Collins – Staff Nurse III, Frances Espino – Staff Nurse III, Anna Mercado – Assistant Head Nurse, Abigail Acosta – Staff Nurse III, Sheilah Quentin – Staff Nurse III, Pamela Yates – Staff Nurse III, Norma Coyazo – Staff Nurse III

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