It takes a special person to be a nurse. It takes someone who puts the needs of others before themselves and actively looks for ways to help. Manny Munoz at Del Sol LifeCare Center in El Paso, Texas fits this description perfectly.

Manny is a Cardiac Rehab Nurse and was recently featured by the American Nurse Project – a project aimed at elevating the voice of nurses in the U.S. by capturing their personal stories through photography and film. It is their hope that everybody will learn something about the rewarding nature of caregiving. Manny was selected to be featured in this project after being nominated by some of the leaders at Del Sol.

His video “Making a Difference with a Gift Shop Doll” will make you smile and is a perfect way to close our month long celebration of nurses. Below we have a link to Manny’s video but we also did a quick Q & A session with Manny to ask him what it was like to be a part this project.

Jane: How did you get selected for this project?

Manny: I was nominated by my department director Julie Miller and our Nurse Quality Administrator, Linda Lawson. I was one of three nurses selected in all of Texas despite numerous candidates. It is a great honor for me and my family to have received this recognition not only as a nurse, but as a person.


J: What was the most interesting part of the project for you?

M: What is truly interesting to me is being selected for this project at all. I feel that there are many nurses out there that deserve such recognition as well. The things we do as nurses on a daily basis impacts so many people’s lives in so many ways. Being selected for the American Nurse Project validates that I am doing good for my patients and my community.


J: Describe your role at HCA?

M: My position at HCA is as a Cardiac Rehab Nurse at Del Sol LifeCare Center in El Paso, Texas. The clients that we see in our facility are people that have undergone a cardiac procedure such as open-heart surgery, angioplasty, stent placement, heart valve replacement, heart attack and heart transplant. After I conduct an initial assessment to evaluate the needs and limitations of our clients they then start a monitored exercise routine. The clients wear a telemetry monitor while they exercise. Our cardiac rehab program consists of a multidisciplinary team: exercise physiologists, nutritionist, pharmacist, physician and, of course a nurse. I have the opportunity to educate our clients on their cardiovascular conditions, medications, and lifestyle changes. Progress is assessed throughout the program and modified according to patient improvement, initial goals and if necessary, physician recommendations. The referring physician is kept informed of patient progress. My goal is to reach my patient’s goals and decrease the risk of our clients suffering a repeat cardiac event, which then would lead to re hospitalization.


J: How have your colleagues or patients reacted to your story in the American Nurse Project?

M: I’m honored to say that my colleagues have expressed how proud they are of me and encourage me to continue doing what I truly love to do. My patients have expressed that they feel they are in great hands when they are under my care and supervision, which again validates that I must be doing something right. The greatest reward ever is when you get that long handshake or hug followed by a “thank you”. That truly is priceless.


J: What do you hope viewers take away from the American Nurse Project?

M: I hope people see what an impact nurses make in the care of patients in all types of settings. Not just in clinical settings but also in the community and within our families. The American Nurse Project gives light to the nursing profession and hopefully encourages our youth to follow a career in nursing. The rewards are endless and it happens on a daily basis.


Watch Manny’s video