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Sara Lemus Gutierrez, BSN, RN

Sara Lemus Gutierrez, BSN, RN

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Staff Nurse
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur

Moving from Colombia to America as a child was a powerful experience for Sara Lemus Gutierrez, one that galvanized her desire to become a nurse. “I started working when I was 17 to get through college, which helped me develop a strong work ethic and discipline to achieve anything I set my mind to,” she explains. “I am a very detail- and goal-oriented person. Growing up in Colombia, and coming to the United States at the age of 12, made a difference because I had to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture.

“Ever since I was growing up, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to help other people who may not be able to do for themselves,” she continues. “I come from a long line of teachers in my family, but I felt that wasn’t for me; I wanted to pursue a career in health care in order to help other people and be able to make a difference in people’s lives, one step at the time, from the time they come in to my unit until the day of discharge.”

Currently working as a Staff Nurse at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur, Gutierrez became a nurse in December 2020 and she is now studying to become a nurse practitioner. “I started the nurse practitioner program as an important step in my professional career,” she points out, adding, “This will enable me to further my knowledge base, and take care of my patients in a more holistic and complete way. I will be able to meet with them on a regular basis and care for them from start to finish.”

Gutierrez prides herself on providing “compassionate care to each and every patient that I encounter. Out of the five ICARE Values, the one that aligns most closely to my personal philosophy and approach to nursing is compassion,” she remarks. “This value appeals to me the most because being able to provide compassionate care to all of my patients allows me to build a more trusting relationship with them, as well as knowing that at this moment, I am not only his or her nurse but also their direct patient advocate, working with the rest of the interdisciplinary team to make sure all of the patients’ needs are met, and all concerns are addressed. I implement compassion in my day-to-day nursing, by greeting everyone with a smile, being aware of my personal biases and treating everyone as an individual, so that I understand what they are going through and assist them in the best way possible with each encounter.

Seeing her patients recover has been the most rewarding part of her nursing career so far, according to Gutierrez. “I have been to be able to see my patients come into the unit after a hip or knee replacement, with limited mobility to perform their activities of daily living,” she points out, noting that she enjoys, “seeing them start therapy every day, to become stronger and stronger to finally be able to walk with less assistance and seeing them return to the community in a better condition and feel like themselves again.”

“The best is when your patients are so grateful for the care that you have provided to them, and they let you know how happy and thankful they are,” she adds. “This makes me feel so special because it allows me to see that I have made a difference in their lives and that I am doing my job right.

“Overall, my experience as a registered nurse at Gouverneur has been very rewarding, and an overall great learning experience,” she comments. “I am very proud of the nurse I am becoming, thankful to my parents for supporting me every step of the way, and instilling in me the value of hard work, and thankful to my colleagues and leaders at work for giving me the opportunity to keep growing and learning.”

Learn more about our Nursing Excellence Award Winners