A Day in the Life: David Lopez, RN, Interventional Radiology
May 04, 2021
It was a family member’s foundation of caring that sparked David Lopez’s interest in nursing at a young age. Born in Puerto Rico, David moved to New York City when he was three, where was raised by his aunt. “She was an LPN at a hospital in New York City,” he recalled. “She was a loving person and taught me empathy.”
That foundation would turn into a nursing career for David, but first, he was called to serve in another way – in the United States Marines Corps. “When I was a kid, I thought the perfect balance was being able to survive in the jungle -- the concrete jungle of NYC -- and also be able to take care of yourself, he said. “So, I joined the Marines and then went into nursing.”
After six years in the Marines, David transitioned into healthcare. He worked in an operating room, emergency room and as an occupational nurse before he joined St. Luke’s Hospital in 2006. In the interventional radiology department, he found his second family. Interventional radiology uses advanced imaging capabilities to perform minimally-invasive procedures and uses fluoroscopy to diagnose, treat and cure many conditions.
“When patients come through our department, they are pretty anxious because they’re getting a procedure to find out what’s going on with their situation,” he said. “I want to show empathy and kindness every step of the way and let them know there is hope.”
David greets each patient in the waiting room and establishes a relationship. He then leads them into the special procedure suite where he preps them for their procedure. Here, David takes vitals, goes over any questions and helps with any sedation needed for their procedure. Once ready, he introduces the patient to the physician and wheels them into the interventional radiology suite for the procedure.
During the procedure, David monitors the patient, overseeing the cardiac monitor, blood pressure, and pulse oximeter. Throughout the process, David makes sure the patient’s caregiver is included. “It’s important to let them know what we’re doing because we want them to feel like they’re a part of it, too,” he said.
Depending on the day’s schedule, David and his colleagues can see around 15 to 20 patients. And, it’s no surprise he is beloved by patients and staff alike. “It’s easy to be kind here,” David said. “People need us. We’re providing a service, but with a human take. We utilize every skill and expertise of each team member to deliver care safely and efficiently.”
This August marks 15 years at St. Luke’s for this father. “It’s rewarding to me. St. Luke’s helped me raise my family and keep them safe, healthy and happy.”