Often, nurses are referred to as heroes for the amazing work they do. Now, a new television special will bring them to the living rooms of families across the nation.

Premiering on June 24 at 8 p.m. ET on Discovery Life, American Nurse Heroes will feature inspirational, true stories about nurses providing care. Produced by the American Nurses Association, Al Roker Entertainment, and HealthCom Media, the show will have additional airings on June 26, 10 a.m. ET on Destination America and on the American Heroes Channel at 11 a.m. ET, in addition to other NBC Markets throughout the weekend.

One of the nurses featured in the special, Fidelindo Lim, DNP, CCRN, Clinical Associate Professor at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University told us what it was like to be on the show.

What did it feel like when you were asked to be profiled on American Nurse Heroes?

Fidelindo Lim, DNP, CCRN, featured on American Nurse HeroesBeing invited to be among the nurses featured in the film was a complete surprise because I am not a frontline worker. To be featured, I felt I was taking part in something larger than myself and I was honoring the great work of nurses who came before me.

What’s your story?

I am a full-time clinical associate professor at NYU. I think I was selected because over several years I have been publishing reflective essays for the My American Nurse journal, the official journal of the American Nurses Association. In these essays, I offer a contemplative exploration of topics such as therapeutic communication, meaningful recognition of nurses, narrative medicine, empathy, and patient-centered care. They wanted me to share my perspectives on nursing education in time of the pandemic and share my insights on what nursing means to me.

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How did it work? Did they come to your place of business and film you? How long did it take? Did they film you with patients, by yourself, etc.?  

The film crew of six came to my place of work and filmed a scene where I was conducting a high-fidelity clinical simulation with two graduating students. We were simulating the care of a patient with COVID-19 who was having a hard time breathing. Then we had a debriefing on what went well and identified opportunities for improvement. After that, they took some B-roll shots while we were walking to my apartment. The formal interview took place in my living room. The whole process took about 7 hours.

Were you nervous or anxious about doing this?

Being filmed for an interview is a first for me. Although I have mentally prepared and visualized myself going through the filming, I get self-conscious thinking I may not sound right or my grammar might not be perfect, given that English is not my first language. The film director was supportive and made me feel relaxed, so that was great.

Did you feel like you were making a difference?   

Articulating what I do as an educator during the filming gave me a confirmation that our collective professional identity as nurses is at the core of what we do on a daily basis. For me, the film is a cinematic validation of the value of nursing care and why the public trusts nurses. The pandemic enabled the public to see the value of nurses and nursing. Although I am no longer a frontline worker, I’d like to think that I made an indirect, albeit small, contribution to the patient care during the pandemic, because I helped educate so many nurses in the past 25 years.

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Why do you think nurses should be recognized on this TV show? Do you think it will attract more people to become nurses?   

The pandemic enabled the public to see the value of nurses and nursing. The world became very aware of what nurses do, particularly in a frenetic health crisis. There are anecdotal reports that enrollment to nursing programs remain robust and are expected to increase as the public recognition of nurses continues. I’d like to think that after watching the film, nurses will feel validated on their choice to become a nurse and be invigorated in their efforts to bring humanism to health care.

What was your favorite part about this whole experience?   

Being interviewed made me feel special for being a nurse! It gave me an uncommon opportunity not only to know, but to understand myself. It is like being aware of one’s footsteps while marching towards finding meaning in the work I do, and looking back, every now and then, to make sense of the journey.

Anything else?

Teaching nursing is most satisfying for me because I have the privilege of transferring my knowledge and skills to the students, sharing with them the multitude of patient narratives that helped me become a competent nurse, and hearing the students tell me later, after they started working, what they have done with the science. The stories warm my heart.

Michele Wojciechowski
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