uc irvine school of nursing alumni beatrice tsakoumakis alumni spotlight class of 2015Our weekly Alumni Spotlight series features updates on the outstanding graduates of the UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. Beatrice Taskoumakis, class of ’15, shares what it was like to be a nurse working in a pandemic.

Where do you work?

Labor and delivery, Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center

What is your title?

Registered nurse

How has COVID-19 impacted your life?

The COVID-19 pandemic has put so much of my life into perspective. My family is the most important thing to me, and thinking I could potentially bring a life-threatening disease into their lives was the scariest thought. We replaced our weekly hugs and family visits with video call birthday celebrations and outdoor waves from afar.

While some people may have viewed our practices as “extreme” or “unnecessary,” it was 100% worth it to know we were doing everything we could to stay safe and healthy. My whole family has now thankfully received the vaccine and we all shared tears of joy after hugging for the first time in over a year. We are beyond grateful for our health and appreciate the time we spend together so much more now!

What initially drew you to the nursing profession?

My father had a huge impact on my decision to pursue nursing. His career as a pharmacist sparked my interest in the medical field from a young age.

However, when applying to colleges, I didn’t know for certain I wanted to be a nurse. My dad suggested I try out nursing, as he thought it would be something I’d enjoy. I went into it on a bit of a whim, but am so glad I trusted his judgment. It’s the best decision I have ever made, and I can’t imagine doing anything different in my life.

What do you love most about being a nurse?

What I love most about being a nurse is the opportunity to make lasting connections with my patients every single day. Working in labor and delivery, I feel genuinely lucky to be a part of my patients’ lives on such emotional days. Knowing I’ve helped to make their delivery experience a happy one, even in the smallest way, brings me so much joy and a strong sense of accomplishment. I’m proud to say I’ve helped bring 485 happy and healthy little babies into the world over the last five years!