How one Director of Nursing has been an incredible source of strength during the pandemic
As a Director of Nursing in California, Patricia Grace Martinez empowers nurses while improving outcomes for both staff and residents. She provides stable leadership, engages in decision-making, and takes accountability for their practice.
Some of Patricia Grace’s biggest challenges revolve around staffing. These have included general understaffing, burnouts of remaining staff, and staff becoming sick. Overcoming fear of infection has been another challenge.
Despite these overwhelming challenges, Patricia Grace offers this advice to nurses:
“Always be positive. God would not give you these challenges if he knew you couldn’t surpass them. Keep your spirit up, find strength, and remember—you became a nurse because of your love, care, passion, dedication, and commitment to your chosen profession.”
These are just a few reasons why we’ve chosen to feature Patricia Grace Martinez as one of our amazing Healthcare Heroes.
Patricia Grace Martinez
Director of Nursing in California
Graduate of Unitek College, 2017
What made you choose your current career?
My passion to take care of people who are in need.
Walk us through a day in your life. What does it look like?
Empowering nurses and improving outcomes for both staff and residents, providing stable leadership, engaging in decision-making, and taking accountability for their practice.
How has the pandemic affected your work?
We are understaffed. I’ve also dealt with burnouts of remaining staff, staff being sick, and accepting that I might be infected by the virus.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your job in recent weeks?
It’s been challenging to manage stress and pressure. To be strong, dedicated, and positive, even when it starts to feel like the nursing department is falling apart.
What aspects of your healthcare training have prepared you for the current crisis?
I worked in an emergency room in the Philippines for four years. During that time, I worked more than 16 hours a day—unable to even take bladder breaks—while caring for more than 50 patients. Sometimes, this included infectious cases without proper PPE.
Despite those experiences, I didn’t get infected. I remained positive, stayed strong, and kept on fighting.
What do you appreciate most about your job?
Leadership outcome and clinical improvement.
Where do you find the inspiration to endure this difficult period? What’s been your greatest source of strength?
When I feel like giving up, I think about how I started and why I became a nurse. I just keep on praying that we will surpass these challenges in God’s grace.
How do you find balance? What do you do to maintain your composure during stressful moments at work?
I honestly don’t find work-life balance. Even at home or while sleeping, I will receive calls from nurses. When I feel that I’m getting stressed, I just bake, cook, or watch movies with my family.
Any words of advice or inspiration you’d like to share with other healthcare workers who may be coping with similar challenges?
Always be positive. God would not give you these challenges if he knew you couldn’t surpass them. Keep your spirit up, find strength, and remember—you became a nurse because of your love, care, passion, dedication, and commitment to your chosen profession.
What advice would you share with future generations of healthcare professionals?
Study hard and absorb as much as you can. Instill nursing principles and skills in your heart, so that when you feel like giving up, you can still find love and compassion.
Is there any advice you’d like to share with the general public?
We seldom feel our value in public but, now that there’s a health crisis, us nurses are considered health heroes and valued like we should be.
What other interesting things would you like to share about yourself?
I’m a frustrated baker and a chef. Also, I want to pursue a nursing career as a Nurse Practitioner.
We wish to end this article with a special shout-out to Patricia Grace for sharing her story as she continues to manage her facility and care for patients. We are humbled by her unwavering commitment and strength during these unprecedented times. Like Patricia Grace, healthcare workers around the world have worked tirelessly to keep us safe.
We’re so grateful for each and every one of them. Thank you!