You are here: Home / Nursing / Nursing Stories / Nurses provide a human touch

Nurses provide a human touch

John Santiago’s best day on the job was last year when he spent 20 minutes talking to a patient who didn’t answer him.

John Santiago
John Santiago

“He had just been admitted to Mount Sinai after a stroke,” Santiago explains, a registered nurse who works in general medicine. “He was aphasic so the only sounds he could make were incomprehensible.”

When Santiago began his shift, he was told that the patient was being aggressive. “Even though I was new to the job, I thought that maybe he was frustrated that he couldn’t make himself understood, so I went in and sat down and just talked to him; about the weather, about the food; just giving him back some dignity and connecting with him.”

Connecting with patients is what he enjoys most about being a nurse. “Once I get to know my patients, I get along with them and I feel like I am doing my job,” he says. “Getting to know their families is also important. Sometimes the families need as much support as the patients. They need to know how to care for the patient at home, but they themselves need emotional support, too.”

Although Santiago has been a nurse at Mount Sinai for less than a year, he says he has found what he believes is his true calling and the place he wants to practice.

“I always wanted to be in the health care field at this Hospital,” he says. “Nursing allows me to help a variety of patients, and Mount Sinai is a great place to learn and to provide care.”