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Profile of the Month

Syandra Turrentine
Special Officer
Queens Hospital Center 


A safe hospital is a first rate hospital
Safety is a priority before anything else. No matter how great the hospital is, if patients and staff don’t feel safe, they would not come here. Period.

Trained to keep the peace
I trained at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I received a certification for Peace Officer status. I also received a Fire Fighter Safety certification. For twenty years in addition to being a Safety Officer, I was also the Fire Safety Director at the hospital.

Typical Day in the job
The streets come into this hospital so there is no such thing as a “typical day.” We are the first staff member people see and you wouldn’t believe how many people come to us. Some days there could be a 1,000 people and no one will give you a hard time. Some other days, all hell breaks loose.

They call me “T, the social worker”
I insinuate myself in all sorts of matters that maybe I should not. But I am here to help people. And I will go the extra mile to help.


Giving back to the elders
I volunteered at a senior center where my mom lived for fifteen years. I coordinated activities--rented buses to take them to the beaches, local pools, Atlantic City, held Zumba classes and Wii game nights. I have not been back to since my mom died. I am still mourning her death. But I will return. I love working with seniors. They are the most vulnerable in our society.

Most memorable patient story
I’ve been working here for twenty-five years, so I have a lot of stories…I saw a woman sitting on a bench teary eyed and asked if she was all right. She told me that she was diagnosed with a lump in her breast and that she needed surgery but was afraid. She was from Guyana and did not have relatives here and felt alone. I told her that I would take the day off and go with her to surgery and hold her hand. She agreed to have surgery. That was more than five years ago. Each time she comes in, she squeezes my cheeks. She says, “between me and the man upstairs, you pulled me through.” It makes me really happy to see her. She reminds me of my mother.

Uniforms rock here
Our police uniform in this setting is a positive thing. My philosophy is, “If I don’t know the answer, I will find someone who does. I would never say I can’t or I don’t know.”

The human diffuser
The day after Mother’s Day there was a young lady who wanted to kill herself. This was the first Mother’s Day since her mom died and she missed her greatly. I was asked to talk to her. After a long conversation, she thanked me. I felt good for her. But also, I felt good that the staff trusted me enough to call me in to help.

Fairy tale love story
We met when I was in junior high. One day we were sneaking out and my father caught us and he grabbed him and hung him upside down and told him if he saw him near me, he would kill him. (She laughs) He went off to the military. We each went our separate ways, married and had children. Eight years ago my uncle passed away and he went to the funeral. His wife had died and my husband of twenty years also had passed. We reconnected again. People say we have a real life fairy tale love story with a happy ending. I agree.

Sisterhood of Traveling Pants 
I own a time-share in Mexico, so I've been to Cancun Acapulco and most Caribbean islands. Give me blue waters and sun (and a good book) and I am there.  


Stories in this Issue :

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HHC 2014 Stats

  • Staffed Beds: 6,684
  • Clinic Visits: 4,472,960
  • ER Visits: 1,179,436
  • Discharges: 205,791
  • Births: 18,564
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