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Nurse Brings 120 Years of Experience to New Job at IOL

October 31, 2017

Amanda Terranova joined the Institute of Living as a nurse in August, but her orientation to the Hartford Hospital campus didn’t happen on her first day of work—it happened at the dinner table when she was growing up.

“Every time I came home from school, they were always talking about Hartford Hospital,” Amanda said. “Other kids might not have that because their family members work in different places. My parents knew all the same people, so they brought it home with them.”

Amanda is the fourth generation of her family to work on the Hartford Hospital campus. Christina Ricci, her late great-grandmother, worked in housekeeping for 25 years. Both of her parents, Marinella and Carmelo Terranova, are payment analysts; they started in Hartford and now work in Newington. And her grandmother, Liberata Ricci, worked in environmental services for 45 years.

Liberata saw lots of change during her time at Hartford Hospital. She started part-time on the night shift in 1965 as an environmental services unit leader.

“It has changed a lot over the years,” Liberata said. “A lot of the buildings weren’t even here. I worked mostly in the High building, on labor and delivery. And then they added more buildings all around it.”

Liberata was born in Italy and couldn’t speak English very well when she started working at Hartford Hospital, so she was nervous about finding her way around the growing campus. Juliana Mack, a retired assistant nursing director, tutored her so she could better interact with people and read signage around the hospital.

“I was never scared of the work,” she said, “I was just scared I was going to get lost!”

A Family Business

When it came time for Amanda to choose a career, her family was able to offer a unique perspective on working in healthcare. But in the end, it was her choice to become a nurse.

“We didn’t tell her to go into nursing—she did it all by herself,” Marinella said. “You have to be a special kind of person to do this work.”

And after Amanda graduated, coming to the Institute of Living was an easy choice.

“I guess it is kind of a family thing. I remember coming here when I was young, and my grandmother helped me get a volunteering job in patient transport when I was 15 years old,” Amanda said. “When I got a nursing degree, of course it made sense that I would work at Hartford Hospital.”

She has enjoyed her time at the Institute of Living, citing the tight-knit community and grateful patients as positive parts of her first few months.