Monica is committed to serving all patients with dignity, compassion, and respect regardless of their socioeconomic status, culture, language or orientation. She is passionate about serving those who do not have a voice because she knows what it's like to be overlooked, invisible and unable to advocate for themselves. As a young girl, she set her sights on becoming a nurse after visiting a hospital with her immigrant parents and seeing first-hand how meaningful it is to be a healthcare advocate and care for those in need. Despite many hardships and a rough upbringing Monica, with much determination, hard-work, strength and making the most of opportunities available, received a full scholarship to nursing school, graduated with honors, passed the boards as a registered nurse, and has spent her career at JPS in order to improve the health of her community. She has also completed the training to be a Qualified Bilingual Interpreter to promote communication and teaching to our large Spanish-speaking population. Monica "Owns it" by always taking accountability for her practice. At the end of a hard day, she often says, "I didn't do all I wanted to do for one of my patients today, but when I return tomorrow I will spend more time helping them meet their goals". She exemplifies the trust and teamwork that JPS is known for in the community. Monica is a great example of what it means to be a JPS employee and lives out our mission, vision, and values every day.
A co-worker recently noted, "Monica interacts in a caring, considerate and compassionate way with everyone she meets. I have observed her encouraging both patients and staff - she has even been known to obtain food/clothing for patients who would have otherwise done without". Monica is known on the unit as the motivator to both staff and patients. She is passionate about health and improving lifestyles both at work and during personal time. She makes it a mission to help patients get up and moving safely and motivates and assists all patients to achieve mobility goals they see as unobtainable. Monica is often recognized by name on patient rounds and receives multiple WOW cards for providing excellent service. One patient wrote, "She deserves the spotlight for helping me during my first few days here and allowing me to find my footing. The first two days were so rough and she did everything to make me feel more comfortable. I cannot thank her enough for that - you rock!" Monica consistently provides above and beyond patient-centered care by listening to concerns and fears, collaborating with all team members involved, keeping patients informed by explaining information in a way they understand and advocating for the best patient outcomes. She goes above and beyond in big and small ways always taking into account the needs and desires of her patients.
Monica was selected to represent JPS in TCU's Evidence-Based Practice Fellowship in 2017. A nine-month program which supports bedside nursing in implementing best-practice initiatives to facilitate positive outcomes for patients. In her work with surgical patients, she recognized the need for more proactive teaching/preparation for those undergoing elective total knee replacement surgery. With another nurse, she developed and implemented a pilot program creating a total joint replacement class for patients to better prepare them for surgery and home care. The classes are available in English and Spanish and incorporate education from physicians, pre-anesthesia testing, surgical services, physical therapy, staff nurses, and case management. The patients were followed and demonstrated greater satisfaction/success post-operatively, including better pain management, greater involvement in follow up care, and improved satisfaction overall. The pilot and findings were presented by Monica at the JPS 2017 Quality Fair and her efforts have resulted in plans to continue this experience for patients in FY2019. Her hard work and ability to see the need for better patient education and willingness to collaborate with care providers has helped to promote excellence for this patient population and will have lasting effects in the years to come at JPS.
In the first couple years of her nursing career, Monica had multiple high-stress events occur. This includes her patients coding or beginning to deteriorate and not surviving despite all efforts of a great team. Monica, as a new nurse, handled the situations appropriately with dignity, composure, and most importantly provided support and compassion to the families. Monica is a strong advocate for her patients and communicates with care providers to ensure the delivery of quality care to all. Although she is an excellent clinician, not all of her care is clinical. We have been caring for a stroke patient on our unit for several months, who can be challenging at times. Due to the stroke, he is aphasic making it difficult to express his needs. This leads to frustration and sometimes violent outbursts. However, when Monica cares for him she is consistently patient, kind and caring. She is able to calm him and communicate with him on a different level than other staff members. The patient trusts her and recognizes that she truly cares about him as a person which makes him feel safe under her care. He is more than just a patient, he is a human being and a child of God. Monica has been known to provide items for patients with her own money because she sees a need and will do anything to meet it. She often takes time to listen to patient and family concerns, sit with them, hold their hand, and celebrate their joys. Due to being an immigrate herself, she knows what it feels like to feel invisible and be the underdog. Going above and beyond to ensure her patients never experience these feelings is her top priority.