What does a Nurse Manager do?
I am basically responsible for the nursing care on the Patient Care Unit. I oversee the Nursing and Health Unit Coordinator staff, the patient care and workflow and communicate with the doctors. I am currently involved in the second floor remodeling project. I belong to several committees and groups at MMC, some of which deals with the new computer system for our electronic medical record. I am also directly involved with hiring new staff, staff evaluations and coordinating new employee and student experiences on the Patient Care Unit. All of this is done to assure the best possible level of care for our patients.
What are the most common injuries you see in PCU?
The most common injury is a hip fracture although we see just about every kind of fracture there is such as ankle, knee, arm, wrist, spine, ribs, pelvis and facial fractures. Some injuries are due to a fall, others due to car, motorcycle, ATV or snowmobile accidents. Even skateboarding, skiing and hunting accidents. We treat people with injuries who are both local residents and vacationers.
When a patient ends up in PCU, what are some things they should be aware of?
We will do our best to make you comfortable and provide excellent nursing care. Please be patient with our construction noise and closed off hallways. The next part will re-open in August. At that time, the ICU will be physically relocating to the new “Special Care/Close Observation” Unit. All the care normally provided in our ICU will continue there. We are more than halfway done with the entire remodeling project. When finished, it will be fantastic for the patients- private rooms with larger, easier to access bathrooms and a state of the art nurse call system.
What is the largest misconception you think patients have about staying in the hospital?
That they will get a lot of “rest” in the hospital. When you first arrive, and certainly if you have surgery, we will be checking on you frequently and asking you to participate in your recovery by getting out of bed, walking, doing breathing exercises, etc. Of course rest is also part of recovering from any illness, but increasing your endurance is equally important before discharge. Discharge planning actually starts the day of admission to the hospital. We want you to be aware of your medicines and treatments, be able to tolerate activity and have adequate pain control before you leave. Hospital stays are getting shorter. That means your days here will be busier to ensure a good outcome.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give patients to improve their overall health?
Know your medicines, take them as directed and keep an accurate list with you at all times (including the over-the-counter and herbal medicines). I realize that is three things, not one. Oh, and a couple more: see your doctor regularly and don’t be afraid to ask questions.