Two nurses walking in hallway at Adventist Health Delano

Adventist Health Delano | The Extra Mile
Story 21

Carmin Sandoval: Well, my husband is going on four years in various hospitals, and they had told us that he suffers from muscular dystrophy, but he's there and still fighting.

Jose Sandoval: April 15, 2020, my sister and I, she actually was living with me after she got divorced from her husband. She moved in with me because she was not too sure what she was going to do with her life. Because the gyms are closed because of the pandemic, we always would take our nature walks. And so one evening we took our nature walk and all I remember is waking up in Kern Medical Center.

Emmalyn Tuhin: Nursing was never my first option, not even the slightest. Not even my second, third, fourth option. However, I went to a facility where my grandfather stayed and I saw care that was less than par. I would say it's a no privacy. They just flopped him over like he was a pancake, and I just didn't like the care. So, because I saw that, I figured that's one less bad person, if I went and became a nurse, that's one less bad person to fill in a position that you actually need care and compassion to give to your patients. So, I did. I took one class after another. I just fell in love with nursing.

Cerelina Pichay: Well, I was still a little girl and I already thought about becoming a nurse. I just love people. I love taking care of people, not them taking care of me.

Emmalyn Tuhin: To be honest, I like how I can be a nurse here in long-term care. You're treating the person, holistically, mind, body, soul, everything. We'll have an activities coordinator or we'll have one of the nurses or even the social worker go and ask, what are your preferences. That is individualizing our care. That's the care that you can get in a long-term care facility.

Cerelina Pichay: When I started working at Delano, we were only two stars, and now we are five stars. And then we were also recognized as one of the best nursing homes in the nation. Because we have long-term staff, I think long-term staff, they know their craft. They know their patients. They know the routine. That's why the quality care comes up. When I started, I was surprised, because all of the staff are here. They've been here for 10 years. Some of them work like 20 years, 25 years. I have one nurse that was born here in the hospital and now working.

Emmalyn Tuhin: My mom was a nurse here. She was a nurse here for like 26 years. I've been here as an employee for 14 years. I've been here that long, probably because I started to love what we do here in special care. At first, it was just, I needed a job. I wanted to get my feet wet. And then it got to, I want to give back to the people that I grew up with. Our residents became our family type of love. So when I started to see that with the people that I worked with, why not work with that, right? I mean, you work with your like kind, you become that. So if you want to work with people that have good vibes that love the residents, love to care for the residents, love to provide those services, love to make it better tomorrow than what it was yesterday, I want to work with people that are like that. So, I stayed. Then I started to love our residents. I started to love how we could make a difference with our residents and with our residents' family.

Carmin Sandoval: I came every day without missing a single day. From eight o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock at night, I was at the hospital with my husband. So when I was there he said he couldn't talk, so I said, "Do mouth exercises." So now when I come, we still talk, and now that I'm allowed to go inside to see him, I ask him things, he tells me yes or no. If he remembers, I put up pictures on the tablet and he recognizes our family.

I have faith in God. I haven't lost faith that one day he'll come back even if it's a few hours, a day, a week, anything to his house that he loves so much, because he always tell me, because I've asked him when he feels really sick, "Honey, are you tired? Do you want to die?" He says, "No, I want to go home." So I'm still hopeful that he'll come back one day even if just for a little while.

Jose Sandoval: My sister, she was actually, my understanding was actually had to be flown into Kern Medical Center because of the severity of her horrible accident. It was actually a vehicle versus pedestrian, but I remember friends saying, "Hey, you crawled over to where your sister was at, and you were pretty much had a head trauma. You looked like you wanted to go lift up your sister and get her up, and we kept on telling you, "Don't pick her up, because she looks like she's really injured." They said she was kind of in a fetal position with a bunch of blood all over her head.

I realized that afterwards that she did, she suffered major injuries. We're talking cranial fracture, hip fracture, very horrible accident. When we finally, we were able to see her, but only through either FaceTime or through a glass door. And I was really amazed because when we'd FaceTime her, my sister was on camera, but she'd try to like grab us through the camera. And it's like, "Oh, my God," you know. I'm sorry if I get a little bit emotional, but it's just been harsh, but it feels wonderful though now that we're able to actually see her and touch her, and she looks at us and she mumbles words, but have we seen the progress? Have I seen the progress? Yes.

I'm traveling. I'm anywhere and phone rings, and it's the nurse, "Just wanted to say your sister's doing good." If the day nurse doesn't call me, the evening nurse will call me, and I'm thinking, "Oh, my God, they're wonderful." And, I truly do believe that it's not only just for patients, but for family as well. You know, you can see families crying with you and it's okay. It is okay. It is okay to cry with them, because isn't that what family does when they're in pain? Don't they cry on one of each other? That's how I see it. Whether she's at home or whether she's here, she's surrounded by family. And I really do believe that.

Emmalyn Tuhin: If I'm not a nurse here, it'll be like the same with my grandfather, where someone who may not care as much as I do, will fill in that position and not go that extra mile. And so it's every day that I face whether or not I'm going that extra mile to provide that care