Desire to Help Prompted Nursing Career

Amanda Commisso: “Seeing the patients we discharge is a great help to us. That ultimately makes up for the anxiety and fears.”

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Amanda Commisso, a registered nurse at Crouse Hospital, didn’t take a direct route to her nursing career; however, her motivation was always present.

“I just wanted to help people,” Commisso recalled. “Helping people is something I wanted to do since high school. I went to school to be a paralegal. I was a hairdresser for a while and neither was that satisfying.”

Commisso, a Warners resident, found her perfect fit in nursing. She earned her associate degree from Crouse Hospital School of Nursing in 2011. She also earned certification in medical surgical nurse through the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board, a national professional body based in Pitman, New Jersey, that verifies nurses excelling in the surgical niche with care coordination and managing patient transition.

Since her graduation, she has worked for Crouse and usually works on a bariatric surgical and colorectal floor. Currently, she’s working in a COVID-19 unit.

“There’s a degree of anxiety and fears that come with that, and stress,” Commisso said. “We rely on each other, the nurses here.”

Constantly following social media can increase stress levels, she has found.

“We help each other out and stay away from social media,” Commisso said. “We try to decrease that exposure.”

While caring for patients who are sick with COVID-19 isn’t easy emotionally, she and her coworkers find encouragement as patients recover.

“Seeing the patients we discharge is a great help to us,” Commisso said. “That ultimately makes up for the anxiety and fears.”

Her day-to-day stressors are similar to those of any nurses. In general, most healthcare providers nationwide struggle to sufficiently staff positions at all levels.

Commisso said that understaffing can make the environment stressful. “Between me and the other nurses on the unit, we’re good at working together and make sure our patients are taken care of.”

Remaining flexible and working as a team help the nurses ensure they provide good quality care.

Despite the struggles with staffing issues and the current COVID-19 outbreak, Commisso enjoys providing care.

“I like improving people’s lives and making sure they’re healthy so they can enjoy their life,” she said.

She believes that nursing is a great career choice for anyone who possesses a good deal of empathy, and a willingness to go above and beyond the job description.

“You’ve got to be willing to be self-sacrificial,” Commisso said. “You have got to be confident and willing to go that extra mile to do the work. You have to be able to advocate and be self-sufficient. Not everyone will have answers for you. Being a nurse is a little like being an investigator. You have to put in time to solve problems and be a creative thinker.”

Though nursing can be a challenging career choice at times, Commisso is happy she chose it.

“It’s one of the most rewarding positions you’ll ever have and the most trustworthy,” she said. “Anyone thinking about nursing should go for it.”

When she’s not working, Commisso enjoys spending time with her family, such as playing outside and going to movies.