The Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center’s Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Valarie Lee met with a class of 16 senior nursing students at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) on Thursday, Feb. 21. During her two-hour visit, Lee gave real-world experiences and responded to the seniors’ questions and concerns as they prepare to fully embark on their nursing careers.
In a comfortable and informal setting, CNO Lee emphasized that understanding the compassionate, human side of nursing is just as important as understanding the technicalities of the administration of medicine.
“I function as though every person in that bed is my family member because that patient is someone’s loved one — the care we give results in unspeakable joy. You can be the key; you are important. Be the leader for the patient.” These were some of the sentiments CNO Lee shared with the soon to be nursing graduates.
Natasha Henry, a senior nursing student at UVI, shared one of her internship experiences that left an indelible impression regarding patient care: “My patient was very anxious, and although I had other tasks to complete, I pulled up a chair, sat down and just listened to him. Surprisingly the patient calmed down,” Henry said.
After the patient expressed that he appreciated her patience and genuine interest in his feelings, Natasha said, “After a few moments [the patient] paused, looked at me and said ‘be kind to people; I know you’re not my therapist, but you really helped me.’ This gave me great joy,” Henry said.
During CNO Lee’s visit, she encouraged the soon to be graduates to consider starting their careers at JFL.