Page 7 - MidWeek Kauai - May 11, 2022
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 MAY 11, 2022 KAUA‘I MIDWEEK 7
   KWawailehua Cornel, RN, BSN Straub Medical Center
hen Kawailehua Cornel was in preschool, her moth- er made a recording of the
     youngster vowing to do something grand when she grew up. Specifically, the then 4-year-old boldly proclaimed in front of her graduating class, “I want to be a nurse to help doctors save lives.”
  Funny how prescient children can sometimes be.
“During some of the worst times of people’s lives, I have the opportunity to make their experience just a tiny bit brighter. I’m happy to do it.”
True to form, Cornel has been mak- ing good on her promise over the past 15 years, providing life-saving work to innumerable patients at Straub Medical Center. She’s been able to accomplish this with whatever team she’s been as- signed to — the surgical unit, the ad- vanced medical-surgery crew, even the neuro progressive care group that she’s currently a part of. Wherever she goes, Cornel has been a model of efficiency and a beacon of hope to patients.
Lori Ikeda, RN
For those just entering the nursing profession, Cornel says the following:
“I like helping people,” she says.
“The grass is green where you wa- ter it. And just because something has been done a certain way for a long time doesn’t mean it cannot be changed, often for the better,” she notes. “Also, do not take things personally. And make sure to take care of yourself first. You can’t care for someone else if you’re not OK.”
      KOapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children
ne of the best lessons Lori Ike- da ever learned came when a college instructor refused to let
        her immediately quit the school’s radio- logic technology program. Instead, he challenged her to stay the course, give greater effort and then, if she still felt like withdrawing, he’d grant her wish.
    “He told me: ‘This is probably the hardest you ever had to study, isn’t it? This is not high school; it is time to grow up. Finish the semester, try your hardest and if you still feel like dropping out of the program, I’ ll sign the (withdrawal) form,’” recalls Ikeda.
been resolute in her career pursuits and determined to help others. As the only nurse within the Imaging Department at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children, she possesses much wis- dom and experience to share with as- piring young nurses.
The pep talk worked.
“If nursing is what you are truly pas- sionate about, be humble, be grateful and appreciate the opportunity to do what you do,” she says. “If you are se- lecting the career for the money, know that you will be fairly compensated, but there is much more to being a nurse than the money you make.”
“That gave me the strength and cour- age to endure the rigorous studies and graduate,” says Ikeda, who ultimately earned her associate’s degree in radio- logic technology from Kapi‘olani Com- munity College.
Since then, the Honolulu native has
                            “COVID’s not going away.
what now?”
Let’s keep wearing masks when it makes sense, stay home when we’re sick and stay up to date on vaccines and boosters. It’s our best shot to stay safe.
A message from the Hawai‘i State Department of Health.

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