2017 Nominees Section

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Melissa Salazar

Melissa Salazar

Position: RN,

Organization: Los Alamitos Medical Center


What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Let me introduce you to Melissa, an amazing human being. She's been a nurse since 1994 so she have the experience and skills to succeed in her job. but that's not the reason she was nominated, she was nominated because she is not the typical nurse. She goes above and beyond anyone else. I have had the pleasure of seeing Melissa work with the senior community that has been admitted to Los Alamitos Medical Center over the last two years. Melissa makes every patient feel like they are the only patient she has for the day. She tends to whatever they need and pays attention to details. I have seen her sitting on the side of the bed while she is teaching patients about different tasks, making sure they have the ability to wipe their hands prior to eating their meals and walking patients in the hallways 20 minutes at the end of her shift to make sure their needs are met. Melissa always has a smile for each person she comes in contact with and even under pressure she remains calm. Melissa stands out from the crowd. She is not the “task” oriented nurse, she is the person oriented nurse. With the changes that have taken place in nursing over the last 20 years in nursing (I know because I am a nurse too), we have created more and more tasks, but with Melissa you can add all the tasks you want…she will see the person in need and take care of them. The senior community that we serve has been blessed anytime Melissa has taken care of them. I would like you consider her in your nominations for nurses. She is a true gem.

Why should this person be nominated
When I asked Melissa why she went in to nursing this is what she said: I always wanted to be a teacher and that was my goal, but my dad got sick and I had to take care of him. He was my first patient and he encouraged me to persuade nursing. At first I was hesitant, but my dad gave the courage to go for it. I'm so happy I did, I get to make a real difference in people's life's. I get to help them when they need it the most, nothing can prepare them for what they're going through and I'm glad I'm here to help them and make it easier on them. "I can't be a good nurse if I don't listen to my patients, they're the best teacher and they help me care for them"

Melissa treats her senior patients as if they were her parents. She anticipates their needs to make sure they are comfortable as she would if that patient were her mom or dad. Seeing her interact with patients you notice how her care helps to lighten their load as they are trying to get well. The family notices her kindness. They are thankful she is their loved one’s nurse. She is such a joy to watch! I hope Melissa will be your next Senior Hero Award winner for nursing. She deserves it.