Growing up, Jesenia had always pictured herself becoming a doctor. This idea became a reality when she saw her mother give birth to her youngest sister. She began a pre-med Biology program at UMass Amherst and shortly realized that she didn’t want to be in school for the next 10 years of her life. Her roommate at the time was a nursing major and she decided that would be the best route for her to still pursue a career where she could help others.
She graduated with her BSN and immediately started working in a nursing home, where she cared for patients in sub-acute rehab. Jesenia had heard from a friend that there was a new grad program starting up at the ER in St. Lukes Hospital and immediately took the leap to join the team. Although the ER can be a fast pace and almost scary environment, she took on the challenge and learned a lot.
While in her field, she began noticing medicine being pushed too far for patients in their late 80’s and 90’s, even seeing ribs broken just to resuscitate them. This sparked an interest in hospice nursing, where she could assist her patients in their last days, helping them retain dignity and maintain a quality of life.
“There is such a dark stigma on death in our culture and there isn’t any reason that life shouldn’t be celebrated and just as beautiful at death, as it is with birth.”
Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.