Mario’s story begins when he was hired to work in Baylor St. Luke’s Environmental Services Department at only 19 years old. He was promoted to the Patient Placement Program and became a patient transfer coordinator. He triaged incoming calls and coordinated patient transfer requests from other facilities. Interacting with patients ignited a desire to do more for them by furthering his education and becoming a nurse. He is now a nurse working in 7 Tower on the hepatology unit. Mario worked 12-hour weekend shifts at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center so he could attend nursing school and balance family life with his wife and 5-year-old-son. “I was only able to afford to attend college while supporting my family through the help of Friends of Nursing,” he said. “Now I can say I am a college graduate in a very respected profession.”
Helping patients recover in the post-anesthesia care unit, known as PACU, Matthew accompanies them into their rooms and acts as a liaison between staff and family upon arrival. “In PACU, nurses are busy receiving patients and managing their pain, so they depend on me to tend to the patients’ needs,” he said. Before starting at Baylor St. Luke’s in November 2011, Matthew worked as an Emergency Medical Technician. “I would watch the staff at the ERs where we would drop off patients, and I realized that my perception of a doctor’s role was actually the role of a nurse,” he said.
“Working with the nurses at St. Luke’s, I find myself motivated by the warmth and selfless dedication they give toward their patients,” said Esther, explaining her decision to become a nurse. A pharmacy technician with Baylor St. Luke’s since 2006, Esther prepares precise drug dosages in a timely manner for patients. Her Friends of Nursing scholarship has made a “huge difference” in helping her complete the first year at Chamberlain College of Nursing.
“I want to make a difference in people’s lives and help them heal in mind, spirit and body,” Diamantina said. Starting as a patient care assistant intern, Diamantina is now an operating room assistant after four years with Baylor St. Luke’s. As the first person in her family to attend college, she seeks a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree at Prairie View A&M University-College of Nursing. She wants to be a role model to her 8-year-old daughter.
Mia discovered her passion for helping sick people when she was a sophomore in college. At that time, she worked as a patient care assistant at the Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville. In her current position as department secretary for the cardiovascular operating room, Mia observed open-heart surgery at Baylor-St. Luke’s. Seeing such life-giving work prompted her to return to the medical field.
Watching his aunt earn her nursing degree while undergoing chemotherapy to battle lymphoma inspired Nicholas. “She earned her degree and worked for several years with a clinic until she passed,” he said. “She was always so caring that I wanted to follow in her footsteps and help people.” An employee of Baylor St. Luke’s for three years, Nicholas is currently a patient care assistant II on the transplant Intensive Care Unit 8 in Cooley B.
“I enjoy the interaction I have with all my patients. My main goal is quality patient care,” Eric said. He began with Baylor St. Luke’s as part of a high school summer externship. Now he has advanced to patient care assistant II. The oldest of four brothers and a sister, Eric said his parents always encouraged him in school to be a role model to his siblings. “I grew up in a neighborhood where going to college or finishing high school was something rare,” he said.