Lisa McDew, a registered nurse in the orthopedic medical-surgical unit at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury, talks about her job.
Q: What's a typical workday like for you?
A: I have three to five patients per day. I review my assignments and patient information, medications and needs, discuss them with the previous shift, and then meet my patients. I do a full assessment, including heart, lungs, surgical site, pain levels and IV fluids, then deal with patient issues such as low blood pressure, oxygenation and temperature. I chart my findings, review lab work, patient history and doctors' orders, and consider which complications may arise. I also administer IV and oral medication, change dressings, care for surgical pins, and take care of individual needs such as tube feeding, diabetes care and education. At the end of my shift, I report to the nurses and nursing assistants who are coming in.
Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?
A: The RN's role is huge. We advocate for and mediate between patients and physicians. We also get social services involved to work with insurance companies and we give the patient the care that they deserve.
Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?
A: I interact with patients and their families, other nurses, nursing assistants, unit secretary, doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, laboratory, radiology, spiritual care and healing healthcare staff, and social workers.
Q: Why did you become a registered nurse?
A: I had a family member in the hospital and the nurses treated her so well that I wanted to be in that role for other people's families.
Q: What do you like about your work?
A: I love my work. I love taking care of patients, advocating for them, seeing them get better and walk out the door feeling better than when they came in. I love being there for their families. I like the staff, the facility - I like everything about my job.