A Lifetime of Caring
As a nurse, you teach your patients every day
Ask a child what she loves to read. Fairy tales? Adventure stories? Not so for Victoria Eftychiou, MSN, APN. She was captivated by her mother’s nursing texts. She knew she wanted to be a nurse or a teacher, and has done both. “As a nurse, you teach your patients every day,” Victoria said. She’s been in nursing for more than 38 years, the last 25 as an advanced practice nurse. Her background includes primary care, women’s health, emergency room treatment, and university health center care.
Victoria’s role with BVMI goes back to our planning stages, when she invited doctors Sam Cassell and Art De Simone to speak to her chapter of the Forum of Nurses in Advanced Practice (FNAP). She wanted to help us recruit volunteer nurses, and promised that she’d sign up once time allowed.
In 2012, Victoria kept her promise. She provides primary care and sees patients in our Women’s Health Initiative. A strong proponent of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, she believes in teaching healthy lifestyle behaviors – and in showing compassion to patients. She does a lot of this, even during telehealth visits. “I was curious about how patients would handle the technology,” Victoria said. “But even with the occasional glitch, it’s worked for us.”
Touched by our patients’ stories, she shared one she couldn’t walk away from. The woman, in her 40s, was finishing up a telehealth appointment with Victoria and an interpreter. Toward the end, while answering COVID-19 screening questions, that patient dropped a bombshell. Her husband, even after his second vaccination, was in the hospital with COVID-19 – and had been intubated. She hadn’t known about the intubation right away and couldn’t visit him for safety reasons. Victoria gently explained that emergency decisions like this can happen. She offered to speak to BVMI’s nurse manager, to see how communications could be enhanced going forward.
To a potential BVMI nurse volunteer, Victoria would just say, “Do it!” She’s clearly committed to her patients, like her mother was, and described her as “a force and an inspiration.” We’re inspired by Victoria, who herself survived cervical cancer at age 29, while raising two young children. Last year, to celebrate her birthday she raised money on her Facebook page for BVMI. How’s that for throwing a party?