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Sonia Suazo, BSN, RN

Sonia Suazo, BSN, RN

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Staff Nurse, Behavioral Health
NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi

Sonia Suazo knows from firsthand experience how important nursing care can be to disadvantaged patients, and she uses this knowledge to fuel her devotion to her patients and the nursing profession.

“My inspiration to become a nurse came from life challenges experienced as a child, and the urge of always wanting to help others who were sick get well,” she recalls. “At only ten years of age, I had a good understanding of the disparity in health care and distribution of resources that existed in my home country Honduras.”

“People in the village where I lived had little to no access to health care,” she continues. “Oftentimes, people in my village got sick and died because they had to travel far to the nearest city, which was hours away; waited long hours to see a doctor only to get a prescription for medications which they had to pay for out of pocket. With no money, people had to rely on herbalists to cure their ailments, which didn’t always yield good results. These observations alone inspired me to become a nurse and to give the best care to people.”

Now serving as a Staff Nurse in Behavioral Health at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, Suazo says her 10-year nursing career has allowed her to develop her personal strengths, including enthusiasm, compassion, optimism and empathy. She calls herself someone who “treats patients with dignity; a team player, unafraid to perform tedious and difficult tasks as they come up and willing to go the extra mile to help anyone.”

Suazo says she is “devoted to my patients and profession,” and notes that some of the most rewarding experiences are “when my patients thank me for helping them: For example, one of my patients once drew a detailed picture of me while I was sitting typing up a triage; before she was discharged, she gave me the drawing and thanked me for being so nice to her. The drawing was signed, and she wrote the words, ‘The best nursing care in town,’ on it. That was eight years ago. I still have the drawing and every time I see it, it puts a big smile on my face, keeps me motivated and encourages me to always do right by my patients.

Her goals for the future include becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner. “I intend to further my education and after obtaining my NP certification, I want to open a private practice,” she comments, adding, “I am currently enrolled in an interpreter’s course to interpret for the Spanish-speaking patient population.”

Suazo says she embraces all of NYC Health + Hospitals ICARE values. “All five ICARE values are extremely important to me, but I must say that the one value most closely aligned with my personal philosophy and approach to nursing is compassion,” she points out. “In my daily nursing practice, I try to put myself in my patient’s shoes, and ask how I would like to be treated if I was experiencing the same thing. I have a caring and kind nature, so my approach to nursing is full of compassion.”

Suazo also believes in treating the whole person, body and mind. “Working with mentally ill patients for more than 10 years, I have learned that part of being well and healthy is mental stability,” she points out. “If a person is not mentally stable, their physical health could be compromised, so mental and physical health goes hand-in hand.”

Learn more about our Nursing Excellence Award Winners