Yelda Dayat-Sanchez's journey to get her vocational nursing license was full of trials and tribulations but she wouldn't have it any other way.
"I used to be homeless," she said. "I had to do what I had to do to survive but I made some bad decisions and I ended up going to jail."
One night in jail, she said, Dayat-Sanchez had a vision of her deceased father which helped her get back on the right track.
"He was really upset in my dream. He always taught me to be honest and loyal, someone who has integrity," she said, "because if I don't stand by my words then I have nothing left, so I decided I want to change my life around."
At 39, Dayat-Sanchez decided she needed a new start, and that's when she turned to American Career College. At ACC-Los Angeles she said she found a love of learning and a career that helped her change her future.
"I don't want to stop, I want to go back to school again. The power of knowledge is incredible," she said. "It was very worth it for me to come here and I'm planning to go back to school for my RN and I just can't tell you how much I love my job. I don't feel like I'm at my job most of the time because I love my patients a lot."
Repetition, that's what our director used to say. Repetition, repetition, repetition and you get it down and you will succeed. Knowledge is my No. 1 thing. It's opened so many doors. You go from one place to another and you just find the key and you say, "Oh wait a minute, I know this." It's just a matter of being persistent. For all the LVN or medical assistants, you want to be determined? Do you want to go for the RN? Go for the RN. Do you want to become a physician's assistant? Go for it, because knowledge is power and knowledge is beautiful. There's nothing better than being educated.
Customer service is so important. It doesn't matter whether I'm on the clock or I'm off the clock, I am there for them. If I don't speak the language, I will Google it and I'll get a translator and I will type whatever I want to ask them, whether they're in pain or whether they need their pain medication or whether they need food, whatever it is that they need. I'll ask and then I'll translate it and I'll let them hear it and that's the way I communicate back and forth with them. I want them to feel comfortable that they know that they can trust me. Trust is also important. As a nurse and we're all nurses. I love what I'm doing and I couldn't be any happier.
I've learned a lot. I learned to be humble. I learned to understand when patients are angry and shout, it's not angry at us. They're angry because of maybe something that has happened or something that they see. Maybe they have PTSD and they get all wound up and they get angry. I have to be there and listen to them. And maybe after my second week or third-week passing meds to them, that's when they usually are nicer and they start talking to me and the good and the bad and everything comes out.
We nurses here in this program, we're trained to be professionals so when we go out in the field, we're not going to have our instructors with us but we have our license, we have what we were taught -- which is being professional — be a professional nurse, don't get into the catty things, let it go. Don't answer back, always listen, always be kind, always be humble. You have the will, you can make it. It doesn't matter where I was. We're all humans. We're all here to help one another. We are nurses.
ACC cannot guarantee employment. Programs vary by campus. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.
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