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Michael Baladamenti '18 BSN, RN

Male nurse wearing scrubs

Cardiac Intermediate Care Nurse

Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

May 13, 2020

Hey Nova Nation hope you’re all staying safe and healthy! I am a Cardiac Intermediate Care Nurse at The Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and I graduated from the BSNExpress program in July 2018.  I have been working on our dedicated COVID19 Unit since the start of the Pandemic in late March. My hospital was quick to respond in not just allocating safe amounts of PPE but ensuring we had the capacity for if and when a surge hit. About two weeks into working on the COVID19 unit I volunteered to be trained up for our COVID19 ICU. The past few weeks I have been learning rapidly alongside some of the best nurses ever! We have been doing our best to do team nursing; this has been working out extremely well in helping to give our patients the dedicated care they need and deserve.

Training up into the ICU dedicated for our patients diagnosed with COVID19 was one of the best decisions. This allows a progressive care nurse, like myself, to learn many of the skills utilized in the ICU and to help with the patient care needed. I have been learning so much so quickly, but also having the time to see what the ICU is like. During this fluid situation, we have all been tasked with roles we are not typically used to (e.g. me working on the floor and now working in the ICU) we get to see the other side of patient care. This, truly, is making me a better nurse and colleague.

One thing I will always remember from one of my first nursing classes at Villanova was “discharge planning begins on admission”. This pandemic has been highlighting the acute care needs of our patients, but working inpatient the full scope of this crisis has shown itself. Many patients will find themselves in some sort of rehab center. I will never take for grant it the joy I get from moving a patient from their bed to their chair and reminding them “how good they look”. It’s the best feeling to know you are helping a patient become stronger every-day.

My hospital has been doing something I absolutely love and that is playing a portion of “Here Comes the Sun” every time a patient is discharged. In the beginning, we would here many “Anesthesia STAT” calls over the Hospital Pager, but now we are hearing this song throughout the day and every time I hear it, I can’t help but smile. The best memory was being with a patient as this song went off and as they were fighting their own battle with COVID they were overjoyed for the patient going home saying to me “They did it, they beat the virus!” and I said, “soon that song will be played for you”. It’s these moments that give me hope; we will overcome this Pandemic.

Villanova, reminded me that being a nurse is a calling, it’s not something that can be taught. Right now, I want to remind every nurse, across the world, whether they are working with COVID19 or not, they are strong enough for this job; they were chosen to fulfill this role and to be there for and with others. Don’t doubt yourself; you’re making a difference every day. \\//

Inspired to share your COVID-19 story?

We welcome submissions from Villanova Nurses about their experience during COVID-19. Please email with your photo, name, credentials, degree/year, role and employer/location along with a brief story of your experience, your reflections on nursing and/or how your Villanova Nursing education prepared you for this pandemic.

Your submission may be used on this page and potentially on social media or in related College communication. Thank you!