Cardiology – Where nurses make the difference

As an undergraduate, I was determined to work within an emergency department.  Luckily, during my graduate program, I rotated through both a cardiology medical and a cardiothoracic surgical ward, and realised cardiology was my true nursing calling.  Of course, each nurse thinks their specialty is the best, but for me, cardiology had me hooked.  This was where I saw the amazing impact nurses could have, not only on patient outcomes, but also in prevention programs.

Within cardiology, I have seen the difference nurses have made through effectively working and communicating with other departments.  Cardiology encompasses many areas including general cardiac wards, cardiac cath labs, coronary care units, cardiac rehabilitation, heart failure management teams, preventative, primary health programs, and many more.  Each area compliments another and the best patient outcomes rely on them all working together.  The units I saw working together cohesively, and keeping the focus on the patient, were units with nurses at the helm.

My experience within a busy coronary care unit, taught me how critical the nursing voice was to patient care.  Nurses in this department were expected to speak up, to make their opinion known and, essentially, ensure the patient was heard.  Their knowledge, assessment and critical thinking skills were tested each shift, and a true interdisciplinary team approach was utilised.  This was the type of nursing I had been looking for and why I will always be a cardiology nurse at heart.

**Laurie is a regular columnist for the Australian College of Nursing “The Hive” Magazine offering her perspective as an early career nurse.  This column was originally published in the Autumn 2017 issue ***


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