#NWHLxWISS: Nurse and Original NWHLer Elena Orlando
By NWHL.zone Staff
#NWHLxWISS is a series in partnership with accounting firm WISS that highlights the careers, interests and stories of women in the NWHL as well as women working at WISS.
An original NWHLer, Elena Orlando is one of the most respected shutdown defenders in the NWHL. When the Whale’s alternate captain isn’t blocking shots or clearing the crease, she works as a nurse and coaches two teams for the Mid Fairfield Connecticut Stars. Orlando majored in nursing at Quinnipiac University where she was a dual-sport athlete in hockey and rugby.
NWHL: When did you first realize you wanted to be a nurse?
Elena Orlando: I always knew I wanted to get into the medical field. In high school, I started looking at different potential paths and nursing really called to me in terms of patient interaction and as a way to pursue my passion for science.
NWHL: What is the most fulfilling or rewarding part of your job?
EO: Knowing that you make a difference in people’s lives. You get to interact with patients every day and seeing them get better and feel better is incredibly rewarding.
NWHL: What skills do you think are essential for a nurse to have?
EO: Definitely time management skills! But you also must know how to think on your feet and be adaptable. It’s important to be compassionate and to empathize with people and what they’re going through. Those are all great skills to have as a nurse.
NWHL: What advice would you offer someone who is considering a career in nursing?
EO: It can be hard. When you first get into nursing, you can often feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Thankfully, there’s always a great support group in place with mentors and preceptors who will help get you through the tough times. You need to really believe in yourself and to trust in your knowledge and your instincts. It always seems crazy in the beginning, but you need to stick with it.
NWHL: What does your typical workday look like?
EO: I usually go work out in the morning with the Whale and then go to work for the day. Then, depending on what day it is, I’ll either go home to grab a quick dinner and then get back with the team or go coach. It depends on the day, but it’s always busy, which is why time management is a big part of my routine. Being able to jump from one thing to the other every day is the only way to get all my work done, coach, and focus on hockey.
NWHL: When you’re not coaching, being a nurse, or being a pro hockey player, what do you do to relax?
EO: I like baking! I like baking and cooking, so that is what I often do with my free time. I like to make banana bread for the team for practice. That’s always fun!
Photo Credits: Bryan Johnson, MidFairfield Stars, Mike Hetzel