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October Nurse of Excellence – Kimlyn Antoine, LPN

Hi Kimlyn, Nice to meet you! Tell us about yourself.

I was raised in a lovely family atmosphere on a beautiful island on the bed of the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago is a rainbow society extending a warm culture to people of all colors and cultures. You care for your neighbor, and your neighbor cares for you.

My passionate, kind mother always lived by her mantra: No matter the situation, you can always put some kindness into it! Nurture, coupled with my innate concern and responsibility; I spent many hours of my teenage years volunteering for community services. Who was the natural caretaker when Grandma got sick? Kimlyn, of course!

You may be surprised to hear that nursing was not my first career.

When I was still a kid, I discovered my love for fashion, carving my way to my initial dream career choice, dressmaking. For years, would tell the difference between every hue of sapphire Blue, Electric blue, blizzard blue, or cobalt. Watching raw pieces of chiffon, Linen, taffeta, and Crepe weaved together into the most beautiful designer wear felt magical.

In 2007, I came to America and settled in New York. As I continued dressmaking, it was apparent that the demand was far from comparable to my home country. A year later married my late husband living in New Jersey and relocated to his town. Dressmaking was a tough go. There was little demand in Jersey and an even smaller pay, and I knew it was time to find something more lucrative in the land of opportunity. Did you mention I am a nurse?

We constantly get gushing regards from your patients. Share your little secrets!

Technical nursing is only one part of being a nurse. Yes, we must administer medication monitor vitals and arrange the g-tube feeds. But I am focused on treating a person, not an illness. We must recognize emotions, feelings, ups and downs, disappointment, hope, and longing. More importantly, we are there to foster a friendship and rekindle the trust often lost by too many disappointments. I try my best to be the ray of hope for my patients by expressing my caring and genuinely empathizing with their pain.

What do you love most about the White Glove experience?

When I scrambled for a new agency several months ago, it was visible on the White Glove job posts that they are very in touch with their nurses. When I started working, I saw that the support system was stronger than I had imagined. White Glove really backs you up!

They admire your efforts and have incredible communication. You get the guidance and tools needed to succeed. I never feel alone. It’s like a family!

Share a topic you are very passionate about?

I’ll be right back to the patient emotional well-being. I feel so much of it is not addressed. For instance, I worked with a patient who suffered from a tragic condition that developed in his early twenties, leaving him bedbound. So yes, he is taken care of, trach changed, g-tube fed and all. But I see a man who lost everything. He needs to grieve. How can he learn to accept and find a new life in this tragic situation when so much of it is unaddressed? We must raise more awareness of patients’ mental health.

Any Special Acknowledgements?

Thank you, Debbie Horowitz, my White Glove recruiter! She is so friendly and ready to help at all times!

With more than a bit of pride, I’ll take those lines to acknowledge my daughter. She is doing her DPN to accelerate her career in healthcare. The coursework may be rigorous, but she will keep pursuing her dream to impact more lives!

Is there any message you would like to impart to more White Glove nurses?

Be patient and kind to your patients. Sometimes, it’s all they’ve got!