How do you describe your job to family and friends?
I counsel patients, discuss and promote good health and wellness, make sure they are well vaccinated and well informed about any diagnosis, promote safety at school and home, and provide routine care and follow up with educational resources. It's very close to my heart, especially the nutrition and wellness part.
What strengths do you bring to your job?
Experience. I’ve been doing this a while! I graduated from nursing school in 1979 and had my first job in the Philippines. After coming to the US, I worked in the neonatal ICU at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and in pediatric ICU support at Kaiser Permanente. Then I went back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I worked in cardio-thoracic surgery at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles before coming to Las Vegas.
Describe a challenging aspect of your job.
The language barrier can be a challenge, but we have translation resources that help. And you can't avoid burnout when patients and families resist your counsel, because you can't do anything about it. I still feel very blessed to have the job that I do.
What does it take to be successful in your job?
The word that comes to mind is grit. You have to expect barriers and pushback not only from staff but also the patients and families you serve. But you stand your ground and believe in the importance of your work. If they see that you mean what you say, and you say the same thing over and over again, then something down the road might click.
What do you love most about your job?
When patients and parents actually remember what I tell them, especially the children. You don’t just treat the patient, you treat the whole family.
Why is your passion important to you?
Many people in my home country of the Philippines don’t have access to health care. What you see are extreme cases of otherwise simple things that could have been taken care of if treated early. We were able to get sponsors to fund our travel and supplies. Our goal was to help patients and to educate nurses. For example, tuberculosis is a big thing, almost as common as the cold. People here can’t believe it. After I retire I'd like to do part time work there if I can. In just a week, you can only touch the surface.
Do you see any overlap between your job and your passion?
It’s always good to give back because then you see how blessed you are. It drives you to do your best for patients, and you see the results. I’d like to keep working here because the company believes the same and actively participates in giving back to its communities. I was impressed that we have that vision.
How have you grown at UnitedHealth Group?
Continuing education is highly promoted, not only from monthly meetings but also in conferences and daily communication. We are encouraged to grow and find ways to get involved outside of work. We mentor children, educate young mothers and hold immunization clinics.
Cabin or luxury hotel?
A cabin, because we could take more of our family with us.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
They think I'm kind of timid and quiet, but actually I have my own inner tiger.