The Essence of Nursing

The richly varied professional life of today’s nurse can scarcely be described in a single word. Baptist Health nursing executive Yvonne Brookes, R.N., brainstormed a list of 50 words capturing the admirable traits of nurses and worked with photographer Fareed Al-Mashat to depict the concepts in photos.

The result, a compelling black-and-white photography exhibition titled The Art of Nursing, officially opens to the public with a free public reception tonight, April 11, 6-9 p.m., at the Wirtz Gallery, located inside First National Bank of South Miami, 5750 Sunset Drive.

Real-life Baptist Health nurses, working in a variety of specialties and ranging from novices to experts in their profession, volunteered for the photo shoots. Some participating nurses shared their thoughts about the qualities represented in their photos.


readiness_on-the-frontline_4882.jpgWorking in one of the largest and busiest emergency departments in South Florida is “controlled chaos,” says Paul Vega, R.N. a nurse in the Baptist Hospital Emergency Center. “Readiness means we are prepared to react at any moment to any situation – whether it’s as challenging as a heart attack or stroke, or as easy as helping a patient walk to the bathroom.

“The photo captures the flow and feeling of ER work. For those times we receive an advance call that we’re getting something serious, we’re prepared with supplies and nurses, ready to rush out to the ambulance to provide the best care possible. A lot of times, though, we don’t know what’s going to come through those doors.”

physical-endurance_4301Physical strength and stamina start in the mind, says Joanne Aberilla, R.N., a certified nurse educator at West Kendall Baptist Hospital. “You endure because you believe. If, in my head, I know something is worth doing, I can find the strength to do it, even if it’s a 16-hour shift.

“When you are in a place that validates you, it gives you motivation. Endurance is doing what you do because you believe in the outcomes.”

Ms. Aberilla also preaches the value of physical fitness. “As a nurse, you must take care of yourself physically. You can’t give what you do not have.”

competent_1471Two decades of experience in mother/baby care have built both competence and confidence in Anita Simpson, R.N., of Homestead Hospital. “It’s true what they say, ‘As a nurse you learn something new every day.’ I pick up something new and different from every situation,” she says.

“I have always had a special place in my heart for newborns and have focused on infants for my entire career as a nurse. Over my 20 years of work in this specialty, I’ve cared for such a variety of patients. Those different experiences form the basis of my competence.”

Patient- and Family-Centered

patient-family-centeredness“To me, this photo shows the nurse’s complete focus on loving and compassionate care at a time of great need,” says Yasmid Incer, R.N. The former South Miami Hospital nurse, who now works in the  Baptist Health Transfer Center, recalls caring for a critically ill patient. “She had only a few days left. It was important for me to let the family know they were part of the process. The patient’s husband and children were there to help bathe her and participate in her care.

“Love and support from family helps everyone through tough times,” Ms.  Incer says. “I was actually going through a difficult period with my own sick child at the time, and I remember how much I depended on my loved ones.”


The Art of Nursing photo exhibition is on display at the Wirtz Gallery through April 29.

Free parking is available on SW 73 Street, behind the bank. The gallery’s regular hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.








Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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