Meet Lussette Dantinor

November 13, 2019

Memorial Staff

Lussette Dantinor
Lussette Dantinor
Director of Emergency Services, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

Q: How long have you been with Memorial Healthcare System? What are your responsibilities as the Director of Emergency Services for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital?

A: I’ve been with Memorial for 17 years and in the ER since 2005. I started this role February 3, 2019. I oversee the department, the structure, staffing, the financial aspect and the operational aspect.

Q: What is your educational and professional background?

A: I graduated from Broward Community College with an associate degree in nursing. From there I worked in the ED as an RN for a couple of years, then became a clinical manager. Three and a half years ago I became the nurse manager. I knew that I wanted to continue my education, so I did online classes at Chamberlain and received my bachelor’s degree in September 2018. My director moved to another state and this position became available at the end of January.

Q: What drew you to a career in healthcare?

A: I always wanted to work in a hospital, and I always wanted a stethoscope. But when I went to school, I studied computer programming. Coming out of high school in 1996-97, it was all about computers and technology. The first couple of classes… it wasn’t my passion. I stepped right back to healthcare. I wanted to be a midwife and deliver babies. I took more classes toward that and got discouraged, because at that time hospitals weren’t geared to midwifery in the hospital setting. The responsibilities, the insurance aspect and the liability aspect of it scared me. Then I said, ‘How can I get into something where I can see it all and be a part of the hospital setting without having that responsibility? So I went into the nursing program. I fell in love with learning about different diagnoses, disease processes, how to start an IV and being able to take care of somebody.

Q: How did you come to focus on pediatrics?

A: I worked on the pediatric inpatient medical surgical floor as a nurse tech for about two and a half years. I got really close to the patients and families. I was very comfortable watching the nurses, and they were always willing to teach. But then I realized I was getting too attached to patients and it was taking its toll.

Q: Is that what led you to the Emergency Department?

A: I started picking up work in the ER while waiting to take my state board exams. I found my passion during that rotation. I was impressed with the speed, the excitement, the adrenalin of not knowing what was coming through the door. I built a bond with the staff there. I became familiar with the staff, the process and the flow. The director said there’s always a place here after nursing school. I passed my boards and the director hired me as an RN in the Pediatric Emergency Room in 2005. I started off on nightshift and built a great rapport with the staff and the managers. After a year and a half, I was placed as a charge nurse at night.

Q: What do you like about working at JoeD?

A: The people, the culture. I’ve worked at other places and there’s nothing like the culture of Memorial and Joe DiMaggio—putting the families first, incorporating family and play, always wanting to do the right thing, never compromising safety. I had an opportunity a couple of years ago to go to another hospital. I bypassed that because of the staff, the people and the leaders. It says a lot about a place where your CEO takes the time to know their people and to care and to make an effort to make sure that we have the resources and backup for each other.

Q: Do you volunteer or have any hobbies?

A: I used to volunteer at a shelter in Miami for underprivileged young ladies. Spare time is now spent with my 7-year-old daughter and my mom. Family time is really important to me. We love movies. We’re a Disney family. I volunteer a lot in my daughter’s school. I help the room mom.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your work?

A: I’m really dedicated to my staff and my unit. We’re a family, and we’re all working toward that one goal in wanting to care for the community. I believe that we have a bright future in the Joe DiMaggio Pediatric Emergency Room. I want to back them up and make sure that we’re successful. I have an amazing team.