HMNH celebrating volunteers during National Volunteer Week
Dayssy Nunez began volunteering at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as a teenager nearly a decade ago. She was placed as a volunteer in the hospital’s Women’s Unit for a few months before she decided she wanted to explore other departments, but wasn’t sure which one would be the right fit for her.
Her volunteer coordinator, Maria Stremsk, recommended switching to the Emergency Department, which was an immediate fit for Nunez because of the fast-paced, quick-learning environment. Nunez spent every Saturday morning in the ED from then on.
Before she began volunteering, Nunez was interested in pursuing a career as a medical doctor. Her interest in nursing was sparked after she spent time with other nurses who showed her what a nursing career looks like.
“The ED nurses gave me the opportunity to see that nursing was more than just taking care of patients. It was also about working as a team and thinking critically while caring for a variety of different patients.”
As Nunez was starting her undergraduate degree at UCLA, she was awarded the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation Auxiliary Scholarship, and she used the scholarship proceeds to help pay for textbooks and other school supplies her first year. “It was a huge relief for me,” Nunez said.
After completing her undergraduate degree, Nunez, influenced by her Henry Mayo volunteer experience and the hospital’s ED nurses, decided to enroll in nursing school.
Nunez eventually went on to receive her master’s of nursing degree, then returned to Henry Mayo to complete the hospital’s New Grad program.
“I decided to begin my career as a new graduate nurse at Henry Mayo because I felt like it was the best way to give back to the community I have grown up in for the last 26 years,” Nunez said. “My experience volunteering gave me the opportunity to see that Henry Mayo provides their staff with a safe learning and work environment.”
Nunez was placed in the Definitive Observation Unit, where she cares for patients.
“I’m only four months into my job as a registered nurse. I hope to use the skills I’m learning here to create quality improvement projects that will allow us to continue delivering high-quality care in our department,” she said. “So far, the staff in the DOU unit have exceeded my expectations. I had no doubt that I would feel welcome at Henry Mayo, just like I felt when I was a volunteer.”