Stefan Torres, a Swedish/Edmonds hospital nurse, received national recognition for his videos on health topics. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Stefan Torres, a Swedish/Edmonds hospital nurse, received national recognition for his videos on health topics. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

‘Nurse Stefan’ videos pack a punch of healthy reality

Swedish/Edmonds nurse Stefan Torres is in the limelight for his award-winning flicks.

EDMONDS — Just call him Nurse Spielberg.

Swedish/Edmonds hospital nurse Stefan Torres has gained national recognition for his flicks on health topics.

Known as “Nurse Stefan” in social media and medical circles, Torres, 33, won the 2018 Nurses Week Video Challenge by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a public health philanthropy in Princeton, New Jersey. The first-place video by Torres was selected from entries on the theme “It Takes a Nurse.”

His videos also put him in the limelight in the recent University of Washington School of Nursing’s centennial recognizing 100 nurses affiliated with UW who improve the lives of others. Only about three men made the list.

Torres, a 2014 UW Bothell nursing graduate, began his career at Swedish, where he returned this year after working as a travel nurse in Hawaii and volunteering in Peru. He currently is in the postanesthesia care unit.

He’d made videos with drones and on feats such as skydiving when he decided to focus on nursing issues. His first “Nurse Stefan” brand video was earlier this year. He has since made 20 more on topics such as diabetes, heatstroke, car seat safety, suicide prevention, alcohol withdrawal and the scoop on croup.

He fearlessly and festively embraces female issues. The “Nurse Stefan” breastfeeding video got more than 230,000 views. He uses Facebook as his platform.

His videos are educational and entertaining, with punchy graphics, music and props. He strapped on anatomically correct fake bosoms for the serious yet funny demo on breast self-exams.

“I am just trying to be real with people,” he said. “I’m testing the waters with a lot of things. At first I was apprehensive. What if they don’t like them? I am very loose with my language. That’s how things go, the way I talk. When you work in the ER you’re used to getting spit on and swung at and cussed at.”

Caridad Alvarez-Figueroa, director of surgical and interventional services at the Edmonds campus, said the videos are popular.

“He has a natural way of conveying information in ways that everybody can understand. He makes everything fun to learn,” Alvarez-Figueroa said.

Nursing jobs can be stressful and physically demanding, she said. The winning “It Takes a Nurse” video resonated with other nurses. “It kind of made the rest of us go, ‘That is some of the reasons I went into nursing.’ Sometimes when you’re doing it for 10, 15 or 20 years, you forget why you went into it. It took me back.”

Torres got into nursing through a series of random events.

After graduating from Edmonds-Woodway High School in 2003, he was on his first day as a stock clerk at a home goods store when his sister called and told him about an entry-level job in health information and medical records.

The call came just as he was contemplating the drudgery of a life spent stacking pillows.

He spent the next several years at a “paper-pushing type of job in an office,” he said. That was fine with him.

“I was an introverted, shy kind of guy,” he said.

While working in the records office at a Seattle arthritis clinic, a part-time nurse named Irene Burrows kept persisting that he shadow her at the main Swedish Cherry Hill hospital where she primarily worked. “She said, ‘You gotta come and see what we’re doing. I know you’d do fantastic.’ ”

Finally, he agreed because … Oh, why not?

“Within the first 30 minutes someone came in who was essentially dead. And the doctors, nurses and techs were like a well-oiled machine. They brought him back to life and that was something I had never seen before,” Torres said.

“It was so intense. It was incredible to me — this is something I can be a part of? I wanted to be a part of it. They were straight up saving lives.”

He said Burrows must have seen something in him that he hadn’t realized. He credits her with giving him the push he needed to pursue nursing.

He hopes his videos will inspire others.

“My whole thing is to try to keep nurses motivated, make people chuckle while they are watching them,” he said.

And for patients? “Get some basic things that can keep them out of the hospital.”

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

Grayson Huff, left, a 4th grader at Pinewood Elementary, peeks around his sign during the Marysville School District budget presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State OKs Marysville plan with schools, jobs on chopping block

The revised plan would mean the loss of dozens of jobs and two schools — still to be identified — in a school district staring down a budget crunch.

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

The Trestle’s junction with I-5 is under evaluation (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to give feedback on the US 2 trestle and its future

Often feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and on shaky ground? So is the trestle. A new $17 million study seeks solutions for the route east of Everett.

Lynnwood
Suspected DUI crash injures trooper on I-5 north in Lynnwood

WSP spokesperson said two suspected impaired drivers have crashed into a state trooper in the past 24 hours.

John Pederson lifts a flag in the air while himself and other maintenance crew set up flags for Memorial Day at Floral Hills Cemetery on Friday, May 24, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Volunteers place thousands of flags by veterans’ graves in Lynnwood

Ahead of Memorial Day, local veterans ensure fellow military service members are never forgotten.

People hang up hearts with messages about saving the Clark Park gazebo during a “heart bomb” event hosted by Historic Everett on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Future of historic Clark Park gazebo now in hands of City Council

On June 5, the Everett council is set to decide whether to fund removal of the gazebo. It could be stored elsewhere.

Brian Hennessy leads a demonstration of equipment used in fire training at the Maritime Institute in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘Ready to go full sail’: Maritime Institute embarks at Port of Everett

The training facility offers Coast Guard-certified courses for recreational boaters and commercial vessel operators.

George Beard poses for a photo outside of the the Stanwood Library in Stanwood, Washington on Wednesday, May 8, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
From sick to the streets: How an illness left a Stanwood man homeless

Medical bills wiped out George Beard’s savings. Left to heal in his car, he got sicker. Now, he’s desperate for housing. It could take years.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Lawsuit says Snohomish County deputies not justified in Sultan shooting

Two deputies repeatedly shot an unarmed Sultan man last year, body camera video shows. An internal investigation is pending.

An airplane is parked at Gate M9 on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. (Jordan Hansen/The Herald)
Good luck to Memorial Day travelers: If you’re like me, you’ll need it

I spent a night in the Chicago airport. I wouldn’t recommend it — but with flight delays near an all-time high, you might want to pack a pillow.

toon
Editorial cartoons for Friday, May 24

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.