Nurse heroes honored in May

Nurses Month 2020 graphic

It’s Nurses Month and the School of Nursing is celebrating the contributions nurses make on a daily basis, especially during this global pandemic.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) extended its traditional National Nurses Week recognition to span the entire month of May.

This month-long celebration recognizes nurses’ contributions, educates the community on the profession and aims to inspire the next generation of nurses.

Here are a few School of Nursing alumni spotlights as we celebrate all of the nurses on the front lines who show compassion and dedication to the profession.

Martin Garcia Jr., B.S.N

Martin Garcia Jr.

School of Nursing alumnus, Martin Garcia Jr., B.S.N., a 2011 graduate, is the Director of Compliance – Infection Prevention at Weslaco Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. Martin is providing a safe environment for patients, employees, physicians, contract staff, students and visitors during this public health crisis. The goal is to identify and reduce the risks of acquiring and transmitting COVID-19 among this population and geographic region.

Alyssa D. Garcia, B.S.N, RN, CCRN

Alyssa D. Garcia

School of Nursing alumna, Alyssa D. Garcia, B.S.N, RN, CCRN, at the Mayo Clinic- Adult/Pediatric CV Surgery and Transplant ICU shares her COVID-19 story with us.

“As a highly specialized bedside nurse, on a unit with low census when elective cases ceased, I was asked to support Medical Progressive Care Unit (MICU) colleagues in their COVID unit. We, as well as our other ICUs, have been helping them manage and staff their unit. I did not volunteer as a COVID-ECMO RN, however some of my colleagues care for these very tenuous and high-risk cases. Extremely brave and admirable efforts have been made on all accounts,” said Alyssa.

Tracey Baldemor Von Dollen, B.S.N., B.A., RN

Tracey Baldemor Von Dollen

School of Nursing Alumna, Tracey Baldemor Von Dollen, B.S.N., B.A., RN, a 2017 graduate, works in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“For the past month, a group of MICU nurses, including myself, has been partnering with our colleagues in our stepdown, the Medical Progressive Care Unit (MICU). We are teaching them how to prone a patient, how to assist in bedside procedures, how to manage the vent and CRRT, and how to titrate sedation, paralytics and pressors, in order for them to stand up their own ICU. We are also trialing a team nursing model that pairs 1-2 MPCU nurses and 1 ICU nurse to care for 3-4 ICU patients to accommodate the high volume of COVID-19 patients admitted. It’s all hands-on deck at this point, and I am so proud of every single nurse who adapted so quickly and works so hard to give the best care for every single person here,” said Tracey.

The World Health Organization has declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Thank you to all nurses and to the alumni living the mission of the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing. Your work on the front lines is making lives better!



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