In the newest installment of our “10 Questions With…” series, we spoke with Nicholas Mondello. Nicholas has worked at Eden Autism for 10 years. After joining Eden as a DSP, he became a Medical Floater for our Adult Services Program in 2020.
What is a typical day like for you as a Medical Floater?
Almost every day I have a doctor’s appointment. Every week, I schedule our participants’ blood draws. There’s a place called Gentle Hand Home Phlebotomy where they come to our group homes and service our guys there. I find doctors and specialists in their insurance network.
I talk to parents a lot and advocate for our guys at the doctors. I help Sarah [Della Rossa, Coordinator of Health and Social Services] with taking the medications in when they get delivered from our pharmacy. I help her sort and distribute the medication. As a Medical Floater, I’m always helping out.
Why did you choose your profession?
Medical stuff really interests me. I just feel like it’s something I can use in my own life, for my family members and friends.
It makes me feel good, taking them to the doctor to get them the help they need. I really pride myself on getting these guys the best care. When you’re taking our guys to the doctor, they can’t advocate for themselves so you have to know how they’re acting and what they need.
I’m still learning stuff every day. It was a little intimidating coming into the role because of all the responsibility, but I do enjoy it a lot.
What is your favorite thing about working with and caring for Eden’s participants?
That feeling you get afterward where you just genuinely helped someone who can’t always help themselves. I always get a good feeling when I’m done with work. That’s what keeps me here, seeing them happy.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice on your first day at Eden, what would it be?
Patience. Patience. Patience. It is easy to get overwhelmed here with the behaviors and liability — you’re in charge of people’s lives. Take your time and double-check everything you do. Take it slow, don’t try to do anything fast it’s not a rush. Slow and steady wins the race over here.
What is something you think people don’t know about Eden’s participants that you wish they would?
How much communication can stress them out sometimes. Certain guys don’t like a lot of communication, and it can confuse or upset them. A lot of the guys respond best to one simple word, not long drawn-out sentences. Keep things short and sweet.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I love Disney. I’m a Disney person. I’m actually going in October for my sister’s 30th birthday. If I had to pick a place I haven’t been, then I’d love to go to Italy with my dad. He was born in Sicily and it would be nice to see my heritage and my father’s family.
What’s your favorite movie?
21 Jump Street and the Hangover.
Spending time with my family, spending time with my friends, going to the gym. I kind of take it easy on my days off. Going to the Borgata in AC every couple of months.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Pizza because you can get all different types of toppings.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is helping them, helping them get the medical help they need. Sometimes these doctors can miss stuff, and you’re they’re number one advocate. I really take pride in helping them to the best of my ability.