Faces of Cedars-Sinai: Nurse Patrick Hill
May 11, 2020 Katie Rosenblum
Meet registered nurse Patrick Hill! This Los Angeles native was once a former professional football player who made a career change after leaving the NFL.
We sat down with Patrick to learn more about his playing days and what led him to Cedars-Sinai.
How long did you play football?
Patrick Hill: I played growing up, and in high school I got a scholarship to the University of Miami, where I played fullback and running back. I went undrafted to the Tennessee Titans and played there for about two years.
I bounced around the practice teams before deciding to retire from the game. Football was amazing, and I was able to get to levels that lot of people dream of playing professionally.
What made you want to be a nurse when you stopped playing?
PH: I started college pre-med, but football was too demanding. I went into exercise science, but I always had medicine in the back of my mind.
Throughout school when we would volunteer with the team, I would always gravitate toward visiting people in the hospital. It was amazing to see how my words or a smile could affect someone—without any medicine, just being myself.
It was inspiring to be able to connect with someone suffering and offer hope, so that was the main thing that led me to nursing.
What do you do at Cedars-Sinai?
PH: I work in 6 South, which is the advanced heart failure unit. Right now, we're not doing surgeries that aren't emergencies so we're doing a team nursing approach where we float or stay on our unit.
I've been on my unit and in various intensive care units. At times, I've been working with suspected COVID-19 patients, which are patients who come in with symptoms. We test for the virus and wait for it to come back positive or negative.
What's been the most challenging part of adapting to COVID-19?
PH: It definitely can get hectic just making sure that you're putting on the proper equipment and doing it the right way. Making sure you're donning and doffing PPE properly can be stressful.
It's difficult to juggle trying to figure it out as we go and making sure we continue to learn about the proper ways to protect ourselves and our colleagues—and ultimately, protecting the patients.
How does your background in football help you in nursing?
PH: In football everyone has to work together. You have your offensive line, your quarterbacks, your receivers, tight ends, running backs and everyone has to be on the same page.
It's the same thing taking care of patients. You have your doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists and the list goes on and on. We're a team working toward the same goal—and that's taking care of the patient.
We are making sure the patient gets from whatever point they are when they come in to getting them back to a healthier point, whether that's going from very critical to not as critical, and ultimately getting them back home.
What helps you get through difficult or stressful times?
PH: I've learned that smiling through things can help in difficult times. I always try to keep a smile on my face, and I just encourage my patients to do the same. We're all in this fight together.
I may not be an actual family member, but in this time while I'm your nurse, I'm your family member. I'm here for you, and I'm advocating for you.