Company/Organization: The Valley Hospital
Topic of Internship
Heart Failure Program
The Valley Hospital is located in Ridgewood, New Jersey and is known primarily for its excellence in cardiology, nursing, maternity services, and orthopedics. This hospital takes care of all of the different types of surgeries related to the departments in the building. It is a 451-bed, short term care, not-for-profit hospital. The Valley staff in composed of more than 1,100 physicians, 3,700 employees and 1,800 volunteers. To date, it has recorded 49,244 admissions, 75,016 emergency department visits, and 3,199 births! I was fortunate enough to spend my Thursdays at the Valley Hospital.
Summary of Internship
I spend a majority of my time on the fourth floor, specifically the fourth Phillips wing. The fourth Phillips wing is the outpatient heart failure program. My mentor on this floor is an APN by the name of Frank, however, I spend a majority of time with two nurses Barbara and Erika. My day begins are 8:30, the time the first patient is expected at the outpatient program. The nurse and I begin by bringing the patient to their room. We then take their weight, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen, and pulse. If everything is normal and no major changes are seen, we move onto blood work. If drastic changes in weight, blood pressure, etc occur, then we deal with those changes first. When taking blood work, the nurse cleans off the area from which the blood will be taken, she then ties the patients upper arm to allow maximum blood flow to the veins making it easier to find a vein to draw blood from. After the blood is drawn, the patients wristband must be scanned to print a label for the tubes. I then send the blood work down to the laboratory. Once that is complete the nurse practitioner goes in the see the patient and they then determine was needs to be given to the patient to better their current health situation or what should be taken away. Most of the patients are given lasix as the first drug to reduce swelling and excessive weight gain. From then on, the nurse practitioners decide what else must be given. On average the patients are usually at the hospital for about four to five hours receiving their medicine and come back every two weeks. Some, however, must return every week as their health needs to be more closely monitored.
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