Bernadette Hyppolite, BS, RN
Bernadette Hyppolite, BS, RN
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Head Nurse, Ambulatory Surgery
NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health
Bernadette Hyppolite understands the power of the American Dream. Born in Haiti, she entered into a nursing career 40 years ago in her native land before immigrating to the United States in 1996. She began working as a foreign nurse on a work permit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County in 1988, before transferring to NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island in 1990 to pursue bedside nursing.
“Receiving a leadership award makes one reflect upon the past,” she points out. “My country, Haiti, inspired me to become a nurse. The lack of resources and health care in underserved populations compelled me to act and devote myself to make a change in the community by providing exceptional, evidence-based nursing care.”
Currently serving as Gastroenterology Head Nurse at NYC Health + Hospitals/South Brooklyn Health, Hyppolite has overcome many challenges in her career. “It was a difficult road paved with cultural differences, language barriers, scholastic adaptations, adapting to personal and societal values, and change in professional roles and work routines, she recalls. “Like any immigrant who comes to the U.S., I learned to adapt to the American culture and began my educational journey in St. Joseph College. Juggling a family, my work, and education was challenging, however a passionate mindset and a strong vision made me persevere and accomplish my goals.”
Throughout her 32 years with NYC Health + Hospitals, Hyppolite has remained intent upon the needs of her patients. “During my years at the bedside, I have focused on individualized patient care, fostering patient experience, and improving patient outcomes,” she notes, adding that she concentrated on primary care until she transitioned to gastroenterology in 2007. “During my first year as a gastroenterology nurse, I was promoted to Assistant Head Nurse and then to Head Nurse of Gastroenterology in 2014.”
Hyppolite says she continually strives to keep herself up-to-date on the latest developments in the health care field. “The nursing profession is undergoing a period of rapid growth and change,” she comments. “With shifting technology and an aging patient population, the nursing profession will adapt and continue to grow and change. Telehealth and informatics are growing fields and help to meet the rising health care needs of patients and organizations. Adapting to these developments requires furthering one’s education and increasing opportunities for leadership.”
Hyppolite prides herself on her compassion, empathy, flexibility, integrity, patience, caring, endurance, leadership and adaptability, and notes that her personal strengths dovetail with NYC Health + Hospitals ICARE values.
“Although all five values align with my personal philosophy, the ICARE value that I feel most closely aligns with my personal approach to nursing is compassion,” she explains. “I believe having compassion provides the patient population with improved health outcomes, builds patient trust, promotes patient engagement, and overall aids in their healing process.”
“Helping patients understand the procedures which they are scheduled to undergo has been rewarding as I am able to put myself in their shoes and help them understand the process and give them reassurance whether it be in English or in their native language,” she continues. “Putting their minds at ease and making them comfortable has been a reward in itself.”