Q&A with Nurse Donald Saintilmond
On International Nurses Day, we celebrate the hardworking men and women around the world committed to delivering high-quality, compassionate care to their patients. One of them is Project Medishare’s own Donald Saintilmond, who has been a nurse for 10 years. She joined the Project Medishare team in 2016 and works at our health clinic in Marmont. Her story as a nurse began with her mother’s death. Read our Q&A with Donald to learn more.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
At first, I wanted to become a lawyer. I never dreamed about becoming a nurse. My mother’s death is one of the reasons that influenced me to make this decision.
When I was 18 my mother was suffering from diabetes and was admitted to a public hospital. One day while I was attending class I felt that I should go and see her. When I arrived at the hospital she was suffering a lot just because she was given a serum that did not suit her as a diabetic person. Her health condition was so serious that she passed away later. That day I thought it might not happen if I were at least an auxiliary. I felt broken, guilty and powerless at the same time. Then I decided to become a nurse because I did not want my loved ones to know the same fate in the future.
What is the most memorable experience of your nursing career?
I had the most memorable experience in my career during the cholera outbreak after the earthquake. I was selected for a medical mission in Arcahaie where a lot of people were affected. I helped save the lives of many of them. I felt very helpful. It was from that moment that I began to realize how important a nurse is and how a simple act can save lives.
What do you think are some important qualities of a nurse?
A nurse must be a very sensitive person. She or he must also be a good collaborator. A nurse must always be ready to help others even if they are not able to pay for their service. I am often asked to help my neighbors and never receive money from them. It is something that I do to be helpful in my community but not to get rich.
How would you summarize your experience as a nurse?
My experience as a nurse is made of ups and downs. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that you must always do what is necessary to take care of a patient even if the results may not match your expectations. I cannot tell you how many names that keep coming back to my mind every time. Some of them are dead unfortunately. Some of them are still alive. And there is nothing more satisfying than saving someone’s life. One day I was walking in the street and I heard a child say: “Here is the lady who saved my life”. I was very happy.