Albert Calado: A Bridge at St. Mary's Hospital
By Laura Salinger
The nursing profession in the United
States is largely female and largely white.
According to the National Sample Survey of
Registered Nurses, fewer than 6 percent of
American RNs are men and only roughly 10
percent are minorities. Yet, Albert Calado
was not deterred by these numbers when
he attended nursing school at UW-Madison
and pursued a career in healthcare.
“What I wanted to do was be in a career
where I could make a difference and help
others,” Calado says. “I decided I wanted to
Salinger is a
and the nurses.”
And there are a lot of people counting on Calado and his colleagues.
“We are pretty much the ones that manage that hospital,” Calado says. “If there are any problems, we are the ones they go to.”
For Calado, the healthcare field is a family affair. Calado’s parents moved from the Philippines so his father could pursue medical school
and according to Calado, so the family could have better opportunities. The pair moved to the small agricultural town of Watertown, located
about midway between Milwaukee and Madison. It is here where Calado and his six siblings (four brothers and two sisters) would grow up
with their stay-at-home mother and their “very hardworking” father, a pediatrician.
“It was a small German town,” Calado reflects. “There wasn’t a lot of minorities there when we were growing up. We were definitely
They were a tight knit family, however, and all would go on various private schools and college preparatory schools in southern
Wisconsin. After high school, Calado first considered medical school and then decided on nursing. Like being a minority in a small and
largely white Wisconsin town, now Calado was one of only five males at nursing school.
There are some benefits, however, to being in a school of predominantly females. It was while attending UW-Madison that Calado met the
woman who would later become his wife. Like Calado’s parents, she also grew up in the Philippines. The two would go on to have two
beautiful children (including an 18 month who graces a St. Mary’s advertisement with his charm.) They keep with their Filipino roots by
visiting the country every two years or so.
At the end of the day, Calado has much to be proud of: a beautiful family and a rewarding career. When reflecting on his choice to become
a nurse, he acknowledges the many benefits.
“It is rewarding knowing that you made a difference in a patient’s life and a patient’s families’ life,” he says.
|Albert Calado and his family
Calado represents a small but growing number of male RNs who chose the
profession because of job stability and the fulfillment of helping others.
A 2003 Nursing article “Where are the Men?” chronicles why it makes sense for men
or really anyone to pursue nursing. "Study after study demonstrates that men come to
the nursing profession for the same reasons women do. They want to care for sick and
injured people, they want a challenging profession, and they want reasonable job
security with good wages.”
While Calado spent over ten years as a nurse, five of those in the cardiac intermediate
unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, he is currently an administrative supervisor at St. Mary’s.
He describes the position as basically serving as a bridge between the nurses and the
administration. His job duties are plentiful.
“Our job is to control the movement of patients coming into the hospital,” Calado
says. “We make sure that each patient is placed in the appropriate unit. We manage
our staffing resources, making sure that they are staffed appropriately. We are a
resource for nurses regarding questions. We are the link between the administration
While he admits that there are some stereotypes
about male nurses, Calado says the jobs rewards
far outweigh these rare attitudes. Nurses, after all,
are of utmost important to a hospital and the well-
being of patients.
“Nurses are pretty much the eyes and ears of the
doctor at the bedside when they are not there,”
Calado says. “They are ones that are physically
seeing and taking care of the patients. Their ability to
assess a patient’s condition is crucial to the health
of the patient.”