Anthony Bracco started his Northwell career four years ago as a registered nurse for adult open-heart surgeries, but he would eventually answer the call to join the pediatric open-heart team at Cohen Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) at Northwell Health. When asked about the opportunity to become a pediatric cardiac operating room registered nurse he says, “I couldn’t say no to a chance to help the pediatric population in the specialty I love.”
Working in a pediatric OR often means participating in life-saving surgeries. “I have the privilege of leaving work every day knowing we not only saved the life of a very young patient, but we also relieved the stress on the family,” Anthony says. He’s also excited about CCMC’s new operating rooms, which will offer more families access to the care he and his fellow OR nurses are passionate about.
Anthony says the cardiac OR team runs so smoothly because they all share the same devotion to saving lives. Witnessing that level of teamwork inspired him to pursue this career path, recalling a specific moment in an OR: “It was incredible to watch the scrub nurse and the surgeon move in perfect synchronization to protect the patient from being on the heart-lung machine for an extended period of time. In that instant I knew I wanted to be a cardiac surgery nurse.”
Declaring the operating room “an incredible place to work because you provide immediate patient care and are always learning,” Anthony encourages any nurse considering an OR opportunity to go for it. “Whether it’s removing a tumor, fixing a congenital heart defect or bypassing clogged arteries, the direct outcome you can have on a patient is incredibly rewarding. There’s no better feeling than being able to help a neonatal, infant or pediatric patient by performing life-saving surgery.”
The days are busy, fast-paced and perfect for those looking to make an instant impact on patients’ lives. Anthony says the interdisciplinary teams he collaborates with at CCMC work in tandem, a manifestation of Northwell Health’s value of being Truly Together, which flows without ebb through the halls and ORs at the hospital.
From the moment Anthony joined the CCMC’s cardiac OR, he felt surrounded by professionals with the shared mission of delivering outstanding care to the youngest of patients, a “heartfelt” desire that’s not limited to the OR.
Support from Northwell doesn’t start and stop with your shift — it tracks with your personal and professional aspirations. Through the relationships built and the knowledge gained while working at Northwell, Anthony has felt inspired to continue his education; he’s now enrolled in a family nurse practitioner master’s degree program. CCMC has also granted him the space to innovate and share ideas by supporting his desire to conduct research. “Currently, I am working on a research project to increase communication and teamwork in the operating room by using white boards for communication.”
The nurses at CCMC are driven to excellence, passionate about having a direct and immediate impact in a young patient’s life, and selfless in regard to helping others — whether it’s colleagues or the patients they treat.
Join our cardiac OR team and find your next passion.