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Year of the Nurse - November 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y . N E T • 2 5 T en years ago, Jaines Andrades, DNP, AGACNP-CC, was working as a janitor at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass. Today, she's caring for patients alongside the healthcare professionals she used to watch while she cleaned. Her incredible and inspiring journey began when she was working in a fast-food restaurant and pon- dering what the future held. At the time, she concluded that her high school dream of becoming a lawyer wasn't possible for someone like her. "I grew up in poverty, and there was no one around me who was a lawyer or a doc- tor or anything like that," she says. "There were no role models to show me that I could do it." Unaware of the variety of fellowships and pro- grams available, and discouraged by the huge financial cost, she decided she could never afford to go to law school, and even doubted if she was smart enough to do it. "A lot of it is the lack of knowledge of the resources around you," she says. "It's not impossible, but it's difficult when you don't know where the money is going to come from, what mentor you need to talk to or how to build a professional network." That all changed one night when she went to an ER with her mother and struck up a conversation with a nurse about his career. "He told me, 'This is what you need to do, these are your options,'" she recalls. "With the information he gave me, I was able to go to my college advisor and say, 'Okay, I want to pursue nursing. How do I do that?' My career path started because of that one nurse." Dr. Andrades wanted to be somehow involved in health care as she paid her way through nursing school and applied for an open position on the jan- itorial staff at Baystate. "I was just looking to get into the hospital, and that was the job that was available," she explains. "It was more money and more stability than what I had at my fast-food job. I was bettering myself. To me, being able to work at the hospital in any capacity as a 19-year-old was a step up." The value of the job went far beyond a steady paycheck. Dr. Andrades took advantage of the opportunity to be, as she calls it, a fly on the wall who could observe doctors, nurses and CRNAs working with patients behind the scenes. "Because you go unnoticed while you're cleaning, they're not worried about you and what you're doing," she explains. "There'd be times where the doctors and nurses were discussing a difficult patient scenario, and I was able to hear and see how they dealt with the problem. That was the biggest advantage." Dr. Andrades was eventually hired as a nurse in Baystate's acute care unit, but decided to become a nurse practitioner because of her passion for the overall strategy behind each patient's entire episode of care. Her focus on the "whys" of medi- cine and her aptitude for thinking outside the box convinced her to become a DNP. "I wanted to have a bigger role in what happened to the patient from start to finish, and be able to develop the care plan, not just follow it," she says. "I really did- n't think in my wildest dreams that 'doctor' would be attributed to my name." In September, Dr. Andrades was brought on as a nurse practitioner in Baystate's trauma surgery department. "My job now is a perfect mix of sur- gery and medicine," she says. "I'm able to see sur- gery and how it works, but also I'm able to be at the bedside and medically take care of the patient. I like the operating room, and I think it's amazing, but I also like being on the floor with the patient, talking to them, developing their care plan." Dr. Andrades says that although nurses have always had a good public reputation, this year has cemented that respect. "We've been offered a chance to really show people the impact of what we do on a daily basis," she says. "Nurses put their lives on the line. We've been away from our fami- lies, showing up to work during a pandemic. I think it solidifies the power of a nurse, and the impact nurses have on patients. We've known that for a while about ourselves, but now everyone else sees it." — Joe Paone The Passionate Pursuit of a Dream YEAR OF THE NURSE

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