Michael Diomede, RN, PCTC, at VA's Brooklyn Campus
Friday, September 21, 2012
“Familyish” is how Michael Diomede, RN, PCTC, at VA's Brooklyn Campus, describes the atmosphere among patients and staff at his Emergency Department. “I love the job. I like the challenge and interacting with patients,” he says. One of his great joys is working with “treat and release” patients. Why? He explains: “They come in, like with asthma, shortness of breath. Sometimes for finger lacerations. We treat them and they get better and go home.”
Of course, by definition, emergencies range from those that are quickly treated to others that are acute or catastrophic. But, across the board, Diomede says, “The Veterans are extremely appreciative for every single thing you do. One patient, for example, came to the Emergency Department some years ago with severe burns. “His gas tank blew up. His skin was coming off. The Veteran was transferred to Weill Cornell Burn Center. And, he still comes back today. Still comes and sees me,” Diomede recalls.
"I love working with the Veterans. I love being here. I’ll do anything that needs to be done to take care of their problems,” says Diomede, who lives with his with his wife and daughter on Staten Island. The couple have two children and two grandchildren. Over the past 19 years, Diomede has also worked as a nurse in non-VA settings where he describes patients coming across as “entitled.” Not at VA. “Veterans have a different personality. They appreciate the care we give them for even the smallest things.”
Diomede’s engaging personality and warmth certainly have something to do with setting the tone in the ED and with patients’ positive response. “He’s new in this position and really very good," said Teresa Flannery, RN.
“There’s a feeling of security for patients here,” says Diomede, who can’t walk across the hospital parking lot without being greeted by patients. “Thank you” comes in many forms—among them a cheesecake delivered on Thanksgiving by an appreciative Veteran.
Laura Vigliarolo, MSN, RN, Care Line Manager, commented recently, “As the former Patient Care Team Coordinator of the ED, I recognized Michael’s true potential in leadership and encouraged him to pursue further Education. It’s great to see him taking on this important nursing role in the ED.”
Over the last few years, he earned a BSN from Wagner College on Staten Island and received an achievement award naming him “Most Compassionate Nurse.” Now, Diomede is completing a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education with the idea of teaching some day in the future. “Not now,” he says, “I don’t have time.“