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The ENA Member Spotlight is a monthly showcase of select members, and their stories.

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September Member Spotlight: Vientiane Pajo, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN

Vientiane Pajo, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, is an ENA Lifetime Member. His dedication to the profession has strengthened as he joined the ENA Trauma Committee in 2021, his first formal ENA committee volunteer experience. Learn more about Vien


Vientiane Pajo

Tell us about your journey in the ED.
Serendipity by perception, but providence in grand design.

In 2015, I started working at our Level II trauma center ED after moving from cardiac and med-surg observation. It was a very big adjustment in mindset and approach to patient care, continuity of care, critical thinking and considerations, workflow and team dynamics, and learning. Initially, it was overwhelming, but there was so much support from my work family as each one wanted to succeed and continue to grow regardless of years of experience. They applied the same concept as the camaraderie and mentorship in the military – a majority of them served for many decades in the military.

I was then introduced to ENA by local leadership and members. This opened an entirely different world in every facet of ED nursing to me. ENA took everything I hope for and love in nursing – specifically, ED/trauma and exponentially magnified it in an accessible way: for all, by all, and to all. It was here I met life-long friends who changed my life forever. It’s both a family and community – and I feel safe and secure with ENA.

The journey eventually led to precepting nursing students in our ED, which I’m both thankful and passionate for, and becoming a part of our trauma team as one of its leaders. With other like-minded people, we pursued BCEN certifications to be able to provide further evidence-based care to improve patient outcomes and advocate for both nurses and our patients.

ENA’s heart beats for both the nurse and our patients and communities that we impact, whether it be in direct care, policy and legislative areas, education and so much more.

My entire ED journey has changed every facet of me. We stare into a darkness so vast, yet equally so do we cast a light to pull people out of it. And with this light to comfort one another’s flickering flames.

That is truer now, more than ever, in these present times.

How has volunteering on the ENA Trauma Committee enhanced your experience with ENA?
I am surrounded by inspirational and passionate people, who have become life long friends, who continuously impact and change nursing in ways I can never adequately put in words. They taught me how I can better utilize ENA’s tangible resources, but more so, what can never be quantified – the intangibles. To say that this experience is life -changing is an understatement and in no means an exaggeration

It has also placed me in the company of people whose mentorship and friendship, constant encouragement, expertise, and availability taught me more about who we are as ENA and who we can be for others, both members and non-members.

Volunteering with everyone, given our committee charges, the work we do and ENA’s support, has instilled in me a sense of fulfillment as a person and nurse. This is because we are given the opportunity to collaboratively discern and improve patient care, outcomes, and continuity of care; equip our fellow nurses and providers; be an advocate and voice in the agency of trauma care and its continuum, thus impacting this generation and the years to come.

Do you think you’ll continue with volunteering after your term ends on the Trauma Committee?
I would both very much love and be humbled to serve others in any way possible in ENA at any level of involvement!

What do you like to do outside of your role as an ED nurse?
Outside of work, I love spending time practicing my faith, with my family at home and reconnecting with loved ones online in the Philippines. At times, I help tell the stories and celebrate life: of families, couples, and engagements through photography. I’m hopeful, after more training and experience, in the future I can also offer the same for couples who want an elopement wedding.

Currently, I am saving to pursue advanced studies with a Doctor of Nursing Practice and taking the initial steps to study and train to become a pilot. This is so I can expand how I can serve and help others. I wouldn’t have realized it was possible if not for one of my friends on our ENA Trauma Committee.

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