From the cardiovascular surgeons to the registered nurses on the floor of the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, it takes a village of compassionate experts like Amy Melliza, R.N., to deliver exceptional care and compassion to patients. Melliza, originally from the Philippines, says the team around her has shaped her into the person she is today, and it’s part of the reason why she has been at the hospital for nearly two decades. We met up with her to learn more about being a tenured nurse in the CVICU.
What is a typical day like for you?
I wear different hats and it depends what the day brings. I do charge nursing, precepting and regular bedside nurse duties. As a bedside nurse, I usually do a huddle in the morning and get patient reports, do assessments, take care of medications and do rounds. When precepting, I make sure that the nurse who I’m teaching is capable of learning how to do things right in the unit. When I’m charge nurse, I typically start very early in the morning to handle reports. We organize staffing with the supervisors and the rest of the hospital, and then manage the unit for admissions, discharges and any procedures throughout the day.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Being bedside and patient care is my favorite. I love loving on my patients, especially my babies, and cuddling them and making sure I am giving them the best care I can. It’s also important for me that parents understand the treatments and help them for the time that they’re here.
Why did you choose nursing?
I went into nursing initially because my mom encouraged me, so I picked it up and never looked back. I love serving and taking care of my patients and at the same time, I love the science. Being able to stimulate my brain while my caring capacity is also being put to work.
I started at an intensive care unit in the Philippines and I came to the United States in 2000. I worked as an adult ICU nurse, but since college it has always been my dream to work in a pediatric critical care setting. When I interacted with some children at my previous hospital, I felt the push and opportunity to pursue my dream and proceeded to apply at All Children’s. Fast forward 18 more years, I’m still here!
Do you have advice for aspiring nurses?
What I can say to the new generation is that if you have the passion and compassion for nursing and taking care of people, nursing is the way to go. You can be who you want and what you want in nursing. There are so many facets that you can pursue, and it’s a very satisfying job. You’re able to take care of people and make a difference in the life of sick kids and the babies, as well as the families. It also gives you the opportunity to balance your lifestyle so you’re able to be who you want to be and also live your life, like go traveling.
Why do you love working at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital?
It’s a testament that I’ve been here for 18 years because I love the people that I work with. I feel like I have a very supportive environment where people listen to your opinions and respect you. It is also an honor to work for a hospital with the capacity to give the best care to our patients. All the friendships I’ve made over the years have also made me the person who I am today.
Learn more about becoming a nurse at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.