Taylor Santasieri's journey from Livonia Central High School to her role as a Nurse Practitioner was a path paved with determination, guidance, and a passion for nursing that started at a young age. Before she graduated in 2016, she took a significant step towards her dream during her junior and senior years at the Mount Morris Career and Technical Education Center, a Genesee Valley (GV) BOCES program located at the Charles G. May Center in Mount Morris.
Immersing herself in the field of Health Dimensions, Santasieri found the perfect opportunity to test the waters of her desired career without the immediate commitment of college. This was especially important given the financial challenges she faced with the cost of higher education. Genesee Valley BOCES provided her with a valuable chance to gain hands-on experience, a treasure that time alone could offer.
One person who played a crucial role in shaping Santasieri's early career was her Health Dimensions instructor, Mrs. Linda Blythe. Memories of Blythe's emphasis on attention to detail, symbolized by the insistence on cleaning a patient's glasses, stayed with Santasieri. Blythe's advice to become an RN first and then explore specialization resonated deeply, guiding Santasieri through her career decisions.
Entering the nursing profession, Santasieri spent nearly two years at Highland Hospital in Rochester, New York, before transitioning to the challenging environment of the Intensive Care Units (ICU). Working in an ICU demanded a level of dedication and resilience that few could comprehend. The long hours, emotionally charged situations, and the constant need for critical decision-making tested her skills to the fullest.
Three years later, she finds herself not only thriving but also pursuing her master's degree, aiming to become a Nurse Practitioner. Reflecting on her career, Santasieri expresses a profound appreciation for the complexity of her job, emphasizing teamwork and the joy of meeting new people. Working in intensive care, she highlights the daily discussions where the healthcare team meticulously reviews each patient's condition, interventions, and progress. To her, nursing is a team sport, and the collaborative effort is the key to success.
"Throughout my brief journey as a nurse, I've had the privilege of meeting a diverse array of people—patients, fellow nurses, residents, and family members. The true essence lies in the special moments when genuine connections are established," said Santasieri.
The most rewarding aspect of her job, Santasieri notes, is the impact of seemingly small gestures on patients. Her satisfaction comes from people remembering and appreciating the little things she did to make a difference in their lives. This realization echoes Blythe's wisdom about the significance of small actions accumulating into significant outcomes.
With genuine enthusiasm, Santasieri encourages current and prospective nursing students, assuring them that the journey may be challenging but is undoubtedly worth it. Her advice is grounded in the principle of taking things step by step, semester by semester. Santasieri emphasizes the importance of patience and persistence, drawing inspiration from the demanding nature of her work in the ICU. Nursing, she believes, is a continuous process of learning and adapting to the ever-evolving healthcare landscape.
Santasieri declares, "Being immersed in the intensity of critical care continues to amaze me. Each day, the collaborative efforts of nurses, residents, fellows, attendings, respiratory care, and our care coordinator unfold in discussions that meticulously dissect every aspect of a patient's condition. We delve into issues, old and new, share insights on interventions, consult with other services—building a comprehensive understanding system by system."
For Taylor Santasieri, nursing is not just a career; it's a rewarding and unique journey filled with moments that affirm the impact of compassionate care. In her words, there is no other job like it in the entire world.