Page 15 - MidWeek - May 10, 2023
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MAY 10, 2023 MIDWEEK 15
     Born and raised in the Philippines, Ro- chelle Bartolome-Steffens was always interested in medicine and health care. Her parents emphasized that family, faith and a good education were more important than wealth.
At 13, Bartolome-Steffens spent her recess and lunch periods in the school library soaking up knowledge about pediatric diseases. As she grew up, several close relatives became ill — includ- ing her grandfather, who had lung cancer — so Bartolome-Steffens spent a lot of time in medical facilities.
“Being in and out of the hospital and witness- ing the care they received made me want to care for others,” she explains. “I saw that nurses have the opportunity to not only help patients, but also to support their family.”
Fifteen years ago, Bartolome-Steffens moved to Hawaiʻi with her husband. In 2012, she became a licensed practical nurse and, four years later, a registered nurse. But like many others in her profession, her journey was not easy.
From 5 a.m. wake-up calls to riding the bus from Pearl City to Kapi‘olani Community Col- lege, Bartolome-Steffens juggled her work and school schedules while caring for her 2-year-old daughter.
Bartolome-Steffens gave birth prematurely to her second daughter, who spent two months in the Intensive Care Unit at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children.
“She received great care from all the nurses. They inspired me,” Bartolome-Steffens says of the nursing staff. “My goal after graduating as an LPN was always to work at Hawaiʻi Pacific Health.”
Ultimately, Bartolome-Steffens did just that. She mentions that her favorite part about being at Straub’s Kapolei Clinic is the work culture.
“I love my colleagues,” she says. “They each have individual strengths, but we are even stron- ger as a team.”
Coming Full Circle
Rochelle Bartolome-Steffens, RN
Straub Medical Center –
Kapolei Clinic & Urgent Care
   National Nurses Week may only be celebrated once a year,
but the dedication of these individuals goes far beyond a single week.
Story by Tasha Mero Photos by Anthony Consillio
If you’ve ever stayed in the hos- pital, undergone a procedure or visited a clinic, then you have been touched by the care of a nurse.
yond every day in so many ways,” says Amy Thomas, HPH’s system chief nurse executive. “They are not only known for their compas- sion and commitment to providing high-quality care, they are also leaders in seeking and instilling ex- cellence in our profession. Many of our nurses participate in continuous education opportunities to advance their degrees, volunteer to train and mentor new nurses, and obtain ad- ditional specialty national certifica- tions to ensure the highest levels of care for our community.”
fessional development tools in ad- dition to tuition reimbursements.
 While their comforting presence can be overlooked, nurses play a key role in health care, and in turn the greater community. Whether it’s advocating for patients or pro- moting healthy lifestyles, nurses are invaluable.
“Our nurses also belong to pro- fessional nursing organizations, publish research and move the sci- ence of nursing forward through evidence-based practice projects,” Thomas says. “We are so proud of our nursing workforce at HPH, and we truly thank them for their com- mitment to excellence!”
Of the more than 2,300 licensed registered nurses at Hawai‘i Pacific Health, 1,728 provide direct care to patients at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children, Pali Momi Medical Center, Straub Medical Center, Kaua‘i’s Wilcox Medical Center and clinics across the islands.
HPH also has invested in the next generation of nurses by offer- ing nursing academies and train- ing programs for local students. It understands the importance of immersing nursing students in spe- cialty training because that leads to enhanced competence among new nurses.
To acknowledge the dedication of these hard workers and celebrate National Nurses Week (May 6-12), MidWeek is presenting the follow- ing profiles on five nurses from HPH’s various medical centers and clinics.
While some nurses have been with HPH for several months, oth- ers have been on board for more than 40 years. About 50% of HPH’s nurses have been providing patient care for more than a decade, and about 15% for more than 20 years.
But the health care organization doesn’t just provide opportunities to students — it takes care of its own nursing staff and offers pro-
Meet Rochelle Bartolome-Stef- fens of Straub Medical Center – Kapolei Clinic & Urgent Care, Lori Conley of Kapiʻolani Medi- cal Center for Women & Children, Charmaine Oshiro of Straub Med- ical Center, Alma Mancini of Pali Momi Medical Center and Tiara Kali of Wilcox Medical Center on Kauaʻi.
“Our nurses go above and be-

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