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Mother and Daughter Nurses Reunite during COVID

November 17, 2021

I have been a nurse at YNHH for 42 years. I take great pride in this, as I knew I wanted to be a nurse since I was three years old, and I have been blessed to be able to work at such a great hospital. My youngest daughter Stephanie became a nurse eight years ago. I can recall how proud I was of her when she graduated and got a job at a small magnet hospital in Albany, NY. She worked for three years on a busy cardiology floor, and another year in maternity.

Three years ago, Stephanie and her husband moved to the New Haven area. I was of course thrilled to have my daughter nearby, and encouraged her to get a job at YNHH. She did get a job in maternity at YNHH soon after her move and worked nights with two young children at home. I was working in radiation oncology at that time, and really enjoyed taking care of oncology patients. I had worked in pediatrics for years, and went for my master’s degree in nursing, and became a nurse manager. In class we often talked about the future of health care being in ambulatory, so in 2015 I went from Pedi PACU to radiation oncology. After working with oncology patients for three and a half years, I told my daughter she would make a great oncology nurse, as she had told me she liked working with the complicated very sick maternity patients. My daughter trusted my advice and got a job on NP 11. She worked there for a year, and decided to apply for an ambulatory job at Shoreline Guilford as an IV infusion nurse to be closer to home, and was offered the job.

At the time my daughter started in Guilford, I left radiation oncology where I had worked as a nurse manager, and chose to work as a nurse again. I realized that the better fit for me was caring for oncology patients and utilizing my healing ways. I took a new job working on NP 1 as a breast oncology practice nurse. My schedule involved 4 days a week in New Haven and one day a week in North Haven.

Our practice was moved from North Haven once a week to Guilford in March of 2020. When I found this out, I was ecstatic, as I would be working with my daughter in Guilford! This happened of course during COVID. My daughter is now part of the infusion team that gives chemotherapy treatments to our patients. As a breast oncology practice nurse I help the breast oncology MDs with behind the scenes work such as putting in scans/lab work, etc., teaching chemo and scheduling patients for chemotherapy treatments, triaging phone calls, and paperwork. So Stephanie and I are both there to support the patients through their chemotherapy journey. We take great delight in tag teaming our patients. I take great pride in introducing my daughter to our patients, and the patients have really appreciated our shared support. We both love to bring humor, nurturing, and positivity to our patients.

I am nearing retirement, as I have been a hospital nurse for 44 years. Never in my life would I have imagined being able to reunite with my daughter at work during COVID! We took great delight in doing a selfie on our break during our first day of work together in Guilford, and I am very blessed to share oncology nursing with my daughter. I will cherish every day that I am able to work with my daughter, who is an amazing nurse.

Submitted by Emily Montemerlo on November 17, 2021