For LPN Yudik Ruiz Cairo, giving compassionate care is more than a job—it’s a piece of her identity and sense of self-worth. “Every patient is different, but every family member expresses that they’re happy with my care, and that makes me happy,” she said. “I like to work in the health system, to take care of the patients, and people in general, and to meet their needs… That makes me feel happy and comfortable with myself.”

Cairo has worked at Floridean Nursing and Rehabilitation (otherwise known as Floridean Healthcare) for three years now. She gushed about the warm atmosphere of the care center and the cohesiveness of staff: “It feels like I’m working with family. Everybody works as a team, and we can manage all our programs and departments very easily.”

She explained that it is both her passion for high-quality care, as well as the influence of her coworkers that push her to embody the “golden rule”: treating patients like how she would want to be treated, and how she’d want others to care for her own family.

Philise Semelfort, who nominated Cairo for this spotlight, wrote that Cairo, “Goes above and beyond for her residents by providing appropriate care with love.”

“It’s those times when the patient feels helpless, and I feel like I can’t do enough for them. I can’t take away their diseases...but I try to treat them with dignity in the end stage of their lives.”

Yet love and compassion is a double-edged sword. Cairo spoke about one of the greatest challenges she faces at her job: “It’s those times when the patient feels helpless, and I feel like I can’t do enough for them. I can’t take away their diseases…but I try to treat them with dignity in the end stage of their lives.”

Cairo considers compassion the most important core value of all five—just as crucial as nutrition, cleanliness, and proper medical care and equipment—in order for the resident to have a well-rounded, holistic healing experience, that of body and mind.

Her advice for all nurses? “Every nurse has to be patient, honest, and a hard worker. Try to understand, to listen, to provide compassion. And be good to your fellow nurses and staff members.”

As far as the future goes, Cairo wants to reach RN status, and to continuously learn and “be better everyday.” In her spare time, Cairo enjoys spending time with her family (including two daughters, ages 10 and 18), reading, watching movies, and going to the park.