Caring for others has been a central part of life for Ashley Torres, RN.
While she’s early in her nursing career, so far it has been as an Our Lady of the Lake team member. She started as a student nurse in 2015, worked briefly as a nurse tech and has been a full-time RN since summer 2019. She works in the main operating room as part of our trauma team.
Torres found her professional calling during college, switching her major from English after receiving a calling to “become a nurse.” Answering that call built on her experience caring for her maternal grandparents.
“My story starts with taking care of my maternal grandfather who was bed ridden. I would put his eyedrops in daily, change his ostomy appliance, feed him, and help transfer him,” she says. “My maternal grandmother then fell ill, and my mother moved her into our home, I began to take care of her full time as well.”
Honoring Her Hispanic Heritage
Torres’ paternal grandparents are originally from Puerto Rico, and the way she celebrates her culture is through FOOD. Food is a way to connect, both to our own culture and to experience others’ cultures.
“I’ve enjoyed learning our cultural recipes and cooking them for friends and family,” Torres says. “Puerto Rico is home of the piña colada and it is a favorite drink of mine to serve, especially to those who have never tried it. When it is time for family gatherings there are always rows of arroz con pollo, lechon asado and tostones.”
Torres’ favorite family tradition is celebrating Christmas.
“If you love American Christmas, you’d love Puerto Rico’s La Navidad,” she says. “It is the longest Christmas celebration in the world—45 days to be exact.”
Favorite Cultural Dish
Arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) is Torres’ pick for favorite cultural dish. This classic dish is served at all her family gatherings. To successfully create this recipe, you must master cooking rice. The recipe includes pigeon peas, sofrito, garlic, and sazon.
“It’s so flavorful!” Torres says. “A memory I have of this dish is learning how to cook it with my sister. My rice was mushy, but it tasted great.”
Future Career Growth
Torres is a new mom, and she is confident her son will grow up proud of her profession.
“There is nothing more rewarding than the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction after a long day of nursing,” she says. “I love the room for growth and expansion in this field and the fact that nurses are forever learners.”
Our DEI Commitment
Our ministry’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion supports culturally competent care education for our team members all year long, including during Hispanic Heritage Month each September 15 to October 15.