William Simkins, RN, joined our Marylou Whitney and Desmond DelGiacco, MD, Intensive Care Unit team in 2021. He’d just moved from California, where he’d been working as a hospital nurse supervisor. In New York, “I wanted to go back to where I belong: at the bedside, caring for my patients,” he says. “I feel so lucky to be there again, especially at Saratoga Hospital.”
William wanted to be a nurse ever since he was a boy, but it took a while to achieve that dream. His first career was as an insurance agent; his second, as a property manager for country clubs. “It just wasn’t fulfilling me at all,” he says.
He went back to school to study nursing and “never looked back. Being a nurse is an incredible privilege,” William says. “You are with patients in their worst moments, helping them feel comfortable, even pampering them when you can.”
One of his most memorable experiences involved a patient who was close to death and had signed a do-not-resuscitate order. The patient was anxious and trying to tell William something. It turned out, the patient wanted ice cream.
“I remember thinking, ‘This is why I do what I do. I am giving this man the last ice cream of his life,’” William says. “A few hours later, I was there, holding his hand for his last breath. It sounds so simple, but it’s not.
“It’s why I became a nurse,” he adds. “This is my life’s work.”