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August 03, 2005

The important things have stayed the same

Emergency A perspective from an experienced nurse….

I graduated from nursing school in 1967. I did many things, including med-surg, psychiatric, intensive care, and maternal/child nursing. In 1971, I entered the world of invasive cardiology and fell in love! 

A cardiac catheterization was never performed until weeks after a heart attack, but the whole "techie" thing of looking at a heart under
fluoroscopy, injecting various dyes, and filming a beating heart fascinated me. To be able to tell parents exactly what was wrong with a child's heart and show them pictures and know what surgical procedure might be needed was a relief for everyone. I participated in all aspects, scrubbing in to assist the doctor, taking x-rays, running the monitor and analyzing rhythms, cleaning the devices, riding a stretcher to the operating room doing CPR, holding the hand of patients whom we couldn't save. What is so amazing is that with the rapid advancement of technology the procedures have gone from being strictly a diagnostic procedure - and pretty crude - to being able to intervene in a myocardial infarction and prevent muscle loss! The various devices and procedures are astounding - with more sophisticated procedures just over the horizon.

And yet one thing remains the same...the people. All are anxious and frightened; everyone needs a kind word and caring touch. Despite all our technologic advances, the human to human part of caring cannot be replaced. Smiles, words of comfort and caring, tears, hand holding, and phone calls are still very much the same as in 1971. 

Dee Land, RN

August 3, 2005 in What I Do | Permalink


I am a student nurse and it has been amazing reading stories told by experienced nurses working in many different fields. I am still exploring and figuring out which area that I would like to work in after graduation. Reading these posts has really given me insights and has opened my eyes to many many options out there within the nursing profession. Thank you.

Posted by: Thao Nguyen | Oct 17, 2008 12:59:46 PM

I am an RN of 32 years. Yes, things have changed alot since I graduated from school. Between the assaults that we inflict on our bodies, environmental and personal, and the daily living in stress that we endure, the body is still a pretty resilient thing. I am amazed at the ability of the body to repair the damage done. The one thing we must keep in mind (pardon the pun) is that the mind is NOT separated from the body and has great influence over how the body repairs itself with our help.
When we instill confidence in the patient to be a partner in care, then we can begin to heal them. Yes there are those MDs that say "well, I don't have time for all that." We must all make time to do this, it is essential for many who are at the lowest point in their stamina in their illness. To give them the boost of confidence that they can effect a change for the better may be all they have to keep going.

Posted by: Ruth C | Aug 5, 2006 8:17:31 AM

I graduated in 2003 at 40 years old and work in a busy telemetry unit. I love the rush and activity that surrounds this unit. The heart and circulatory system amaze me along with all the new advances in medicine but I too feel that the people the patients and families need the nurses to be there for them. People need the human touch when they are anxious or scared. People also need education I love that I am able to educate a patient and their family on CHF, AMI, CABG,
A-Fib and see in their eyes that they (get it) they then want to take an initiative to participate in their own care.

Posted by: Marie | Aug 16, 2005 9:09:55 AM

I am a new nurse and I do not have your experiences yet but I was touch by the letter. I am from the Philippines where maybe technology is not as updated as what you have there. But even here it is love and care that make the difference! I just want to give this little message which I got from the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: WHEN WE LOVE AND LAUGH WITH OUR PATIENT, WE ELEVATE THE HIGHEST DEGREE OF HEALING, WHICH IS INNER PEACE. Leslie Gibson.

Laarni P. Piczon, RN.

Posted by: Laarni Piczon | Aug 3, 2005 7:13:13 PM

i also am involved in cardiac nursing but from a office view point.. i've done peds, family, and geriatrics but feel that cardiac is my calling. There is nothing like having a patient come in with chest pain that is having svt, pvc's or such and getting them the care that is needed.. it also helps to work with a group of doctors that realize nurses are as important as they are (if not more) in patient care and they let us know it often... sherri jenkins, LPN

Posted by: sherri jenkins | Aug 3, 2005 6:54:38 PM

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