Faces of Southcoast: Olivia Bergandy, RN

Olivia Bergandy, RN, works in the St. Luke’s Pediatric Emergency Department.

She provides compassionate, supportive, and collaborative nursing-based care in an emergency setting for children and their families.

“I am responsible for pediatric-focused assessments, nursing interventions, and education. I facilitate pediatric patient care to provide the necessary resources and referrals to optimize patient outcomes.”

This requires listening to the individual needs of the patient as well as their family and advocating for their emotional, mental, and physical health concerns.

“I partake in a variety of procedures including IV insertion, catheterizations, conscious sedation, and suturing while incorporating child-focused measures to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain.”

Olivia provides influential pediatric-focused care for children and their families during some of the scariest and most vulnerable moments in their lives.

“Bringing a child to the emergency department can be frightening and anxiety-inducing. Our pediatric emergency department is equipped with the tools, resources, and pediatric knowledge to provide our highest quality patient-centered care.”

St. Luke’s has a designated pediatric emergency department staffed by Boston Children’s doctors and pediatric-trained nurses.

“Many patients value the care received from Boston Children’s providers at the convenience of their local community hospital. It is an honor to be part of a pediatric team of healthcare professionals dedicated to improving pediatric health care outcomes through a child-friendly, family-focused approach.”

Olivia chose to pursue nursing after her father noticed her compassion and energy to care for others.

“I knew no role models in the field, yet took the leap of faith and never looked back.”

Olivia joined Southcoast Health in 2016 as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) on the St. Luke’s Progressive Care Unit.

“When I graduated nursing school in 2017, I decided to pursue my passion for pediatrics. I landed my first job as a Registered Nurse in our inpatient Pediatric Unit. In January of 2019, I transitioned down to our pediatric emergency department in pursuit of the opportunity to grow my nursing knowledge and skill set.”

She began volunteering for Partners in Development medical mission trips in college where she spent a week in Haiti.  

“From that moment on, my life changed forever. I was fortunate to be chosen to return the following year as a senior mentor for students. Once I had graduated nursing school and passed my boards my first thought was ‘When can I go back to Haiti?’ After stabilizing my career path, I recruited a team and coordinated my first trip back to Haiti as a Registered Nurse in February of 2019.”

Olivia continued traveling to the Partners in Development site in Guatemala with medical teams in October of 2019 and February of 2020 during vacation periods.

“These relief trips are the foundation of some of the most purposeful and meaningful moments in my nursing career. I have been honored to work with a variety of health care workers from different medical specialties, geographical regions, and personal backgrounds with a shared passion to heal. Each trip I continue to learn so much about myself. I am nurtured by a team of skilled, knowledgeable, diverse healthcare workers who encourage my growth personally and professionally.”

These memories and moments are invaluable, says Olivia.

“Thousands of miles from home, I find myself grounded with a family in health care. Through these experiences I have truly learned that life is all about perspective, it has made my problems feel so small. Those with so little to give have given me more than I could repay them for – a sense of direction, purpose, and happiness. There is so much beauty in humanity, our innate ability to accept and love one another despite political, cultural, or religious backgrounds when we commit our minds to it. I carry home these lessons learned to create a ripple effect of positivity, cultural acceptance, and gratitude in the work I conduct here at St. Luke’s.”

Olivia loves immersing herself in local communities to provide education.

“I believe there is value and effectiveness in providing education to people through a variety of settings and methods. In the world of pediatrics, it’s all about making education fun and interactive for children and their families.”

She continues participating in educational sessions at Buttonwood Park Zoo and the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament. Her pediatric team collaboratively developed handouts with resources and educational information focused around summer safety. The material covers topics such as tick-borne illness, pool safety, sun safety, and bike safety.

“We incorporated activities for children encouraging them to differentiate safe versus non-safe factors on Velcro boards and in toy pools with fun participation prizes. The community has been very receptive to our health and wellness promotion. Participants often show enthusiasm and a willingness to learn in brief, interactive sessions. I am confident our pediatric team will continue to engage our community and create exposure for our pediatric services through public education sessions.”

Olivia recently began pursuing a Master’s degree in a family nurse practitioner program this past month.

“I have felt a great desire to pursue an advanced nursing degree and look forward to nourishing my knowledge and skill set through both school and work.”

Olivia says she loves every second of being a nurse.

“I am thankful to have support figures in my life who recognized my heart was meant to give. I found my happiness in giving to others, whether it be in our locally or globally. Working with purpose and pride is what it’s all about for me.”