Ruby, RN

Meet Ruby Quiambao, Registered Nurse in MGH’s Stavro Emergency Department

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Ruby and I am a Registered Nurse in the Stavro Emergency Department at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH). I have been working at MGH since 1990.

What motivated you to join MGH?

I’ve always wanted to work in a fast-paced environment, such as an emergency department, ever since I was a nursing student. After two years in a Surgical/Medicine department at another hospital, I was referred by a colleague to apply to MGH.

I started working at MGH as a Registered Nurse in the Intermediate Nursing Care Unit (INCU). The work in this unit was more intensive compared to my last job and closer to my goal of working in an emergency department.

What types of learning, mentorship or professional development opportunities have you had the opportunity to pursue since joining MGH?

Since I joined MGH, I have had opportunities to mentor newly graduated nurses and experienced nurses who are new to the hospital. I have been a member of many committees, including a social and wellness committee and hiring and recruitment committee. I have also been involved in planning, decision-making and improvement projects.

Can you share your career path at MGH?

1990: I was hired to work in the Intermediate Nursing Care Unit (INCU) at MGH. The care provided in this unit is one step down from what the nurses in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)/Coronary Care Unit deal with. I felt like this was just the right area for me after my first few years of nursing experience in a Surgical/Medicine Unit at another hospital.

1994 (April-August): I had a great opportunity to work in the Telemetry and Diabetic Unit at MGH. Here I had the chance to teach patients and families how to adapt to a new lifestyle and look after themselves after a cardiac episode or diabetes diagnosis. I enjoyed interacting with patients and families and answering their questions.

1994 (September): I joined the fast-paced Emergency Department. This was a dream come true! Working in this type of environment with patients of all ages and all inflictions was challenging and something I knew I wanted since I was a nursing student.

2020: After spending my career in nursing, I am eligible to retire and spend my days in comfort with my family. But this was when the COVID-19 pandemic began and I foresaw the tremendous need for nursing.

I decided to stay and fight this pandemic with my colleagues. I continue to work in MGH’s ED.

What motivates or inspires you?

I am motivated by knowing that I can make a difference in the lives of people each day. I am available to assist, to listen, to be there for the patient, to hold their hand, look in their eyes and let them know they are not alone.

I am thankful I have the strength to be able to do this and care for patients who are in pain.

We are a big family in the Emergency Department. We treat everyone with respect and lend a helping hand. We treat each other as brothers and sisters. Together, we get the job done. This is why I consider MGH as my second home.

I can sincerely say that I love and enjoy what I do. I know I am making a difference in the lives of many people each day and this brings me motivation and reassurance that I am doing the right thing.

MGH has given me new experiences, opportunities to grow and advance my career. I feel very fulfilled in my nursing career.

If you could share one memorable moment from your time at MGH, what stands out to you?

There are so many memorable moments during my 30-plus years working at MGH.

I remember 15 years ago, an older woman came into the Emergency Department complaining of weakness, dizziness and difficulty breathing.

As I was attaching her to a cardiac monitor, she took my hand, looked me in the eyes and thanked me for attending to her. I smiled and told her that I am happy to help.

The woman said, “Please tell my son that I appreciate him so much for caring for me. Tell him I love him.”

She passed away an hour later.

I found out that the relationship between the mother and her son was not very happy. Her son reported that his mother always complained about him and never seemed to appreciate what he did for her.

I relayed his mother’s last words to him and the change that came over him was immediate. He went still for a moment and then he started crying and hugging me tight, thanking me many times. He felt relief from hearing those words.

So many years later, this experience still stands out in my mind. Even though the patient passed away, I felt I was able to help by being there to listen and convey her final request to her son.

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