On August 14, Lorain County Community College nursing graduate Amanda Badillo turned 22. And she began day one of her job as operating room nurse with the Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital. Amanda started that career as either a circulatory nurse, who admits the patients and makes sure the entire operating room is running smoothly, or a surgical nurse who’s in the operating room with the surgeon anticipating and preparing for their equipment needs. Either role allows the Elyria resident, who thrives in fast-paced, intense situations, to be the type of nurse she hopes to be.
“I want to connect with my patients and my coworkers,” Amanda says. “I want to make sure that the patients who come into this surgical suite, which can be a very intimidating place, are comfortable and relaxed. And that they have trust in the team.”
Amanda says she is prepared to take on anything the position brings her way because of the education and training she received at LCCC. After graduating from Open Door Christain Schools in 2020, Amanda entered LCCC’s associate degree in nursing program. She knew the years ahead would be strenuous but found comradery among her classmates and guidance from her instructors. LCCC clinical adjunct faculty, Maria Garnica, stood out immediately.
“Maria was very real with us from day one, which I very much appreciated,” Amanda says.
Maria’s small acts of kindness made a big impression on Amanda. From writing notes of encouragement to handing out goodie bags on Valentine’s Day, Maria’s thoughtfulness in the classroom made Amanda think about its impact in the surgical room.
“She didn’t have to do those things, but she did because she’s that loving of a person,” Amanda says. “I imagine she’s like that with her patients as well.”
During clinical rotation, Amanda visited several local hospitals and gained her own experiences with patients. That’s when she developed a deep sense of empathy and compassion.
“Every time I was with a patient, I always thought about how I would want to be treated,” Amanda says. “With assessments, I would ask the patient for their permission before I did anything.”
Amanda says it’s important that every patient feels as though they’re an equal team member in their care. And to make that happen, communication is vital.
“Patients need to know what’s going on to be more at ease,” Amanda says. “A big part of healing the body is making sure you have the right mentality to do so.”
In May 2023, Amanda earned her associate degree in nursing from LCCC and a month later, she took and passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. At the LCCC nursing graduation ceremony, she was also awarded the Florence Nightingale Student Nurse Award for Nursing Excellence.
“I was honestly surprised by that because there were so many awesome nursing students that I think everybody there deserves the award,” Amanda says.
Amanda believes every graduate has earned recognition because of how intense and rigorous the LCCC nursing program is.
“There is no room for mediocrity. There are no exceptions,” she says. “And with that high standard, you have to absolutely give it your all.”
Amanda says she was able to excel throughout the program with the support of her family and the strength of her faith. “I can’t even list how much they did for me,” Amanda says. “They were there to offer encouragement and a lot of prayer when I needed it.”