Dana Mack commends the nursing staff for their quick responses to patient care at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital – Midwest.

photo by James Coburn, staff writer

Dana Mack, RN, worked in oncology nursing for almost four years. She loved what she was doing but wanted to spread her wings as a nurse.
She is about to complete her first year on the cardiac telemetry floor of SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital – Midwest. Nurses on the cardiac telemetry floor care for a range of patients from having catheterization procedures to renal dialysis.
Mack had been an LPN before earning her RN license in February upon her graduation from Rose State College in Midwest City. (story continues below)

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“I applied here but I was in school at the time, and they were able to work with my schedule more,” Mack said. “So, I stayed on with that and grew to love it. Having a good boss and a leadership team is a good bonus. It’s a great team.”
The hospital does a lot for the nursing staff, she continued. The nursing staff even got a box of goodies, and gloves because of winter’s chill earlier this year.
“They like to take care of their people,” she said. “The thing that stands out to me is how comfortable you are with everybody. It really does seem like a family. I’ve never felt like an outsider. I’ve always felt like part of a team. Everywhere I go here, everybody knows everybody.”
And there is a lot to admire about the team-oriented group that Mack works with. She commends her cooperative team of nurses for always being willing to help one another with the ultimate goal of benefiting patients.
“The charge nurse is always willing to help. It’s nice to be not scared of asking questions because you’re not going to know everything as a nurse. Some people know more things than others, so it’s good to have a good leadership team there.”
Not every patient is in critical condition. Most patients have underlying health conditions needing attention. But Mack makes a point of speaking to patients who are comatose or sedated. Her patients are not always able to get out of bed without assistance or ready to speak.
“I treat everybody like they’re family,” she said of providing the comfort of emotional support. “I like to be positive and upbeat whenever I’m in a room because I feel like positivity plays such a huge role in caring. So, I like to create a positive environment with them as much as we can.”
Nurses on the cardiac telemetry floor are vigilant about monitoring heart rhythms of their patients. Telemetry monitoring equipment will notify them immediately when a patient has a problem.
“We run in there and check on a patient. I think a lot of us are really good at seeing an impending event that is going to happen and we try to get ahead of it as quick as we can,” Mack explained.
Additionally, they notify the doctor to come to a patient’s room whenever there is a change of consciousness, she said.
“They will call and tell us what to do until they get there. There is a great rapid response team,” Mack said. “When they call for a rapid response, everybody is running to do what they can. Everybody has their role.”
Learning modules provide continuing education. And CPR skills, including hands-on skills on mannequins, are reviewed every two months for recertification instead of the usual two years that often comes into play within the nursing industry, she said.
“We have a lot of students here, too. So, it’s good to teach them all that,” she said.
Her unit often gets a lot of cancer patients as well. Mack is thankful for her oncology experience when taking care of terminal patients. For Mack, there is something new every day to learn from on the cardiac telemetry floor. Problems are turned into solutions.
“You find patients that really pull at your heart strings,” Mack said. “They try so hard and maybe sometimes their family isn’t available to be here and take care of them and hold their hand.”
One of her patients with cancer recently had a stroke and can no longer speak. Mack can tell that the woman is trying to figure out everything that potentially could be wrong with her.
“You just know she’s in pain,” Mack said.
Nurses will hold a patient’s hand, and brush or braid someone’s hair to make them feel good. Nurses are there when there is something a patient cannot do for themselves.
“I’ve even seen nurses go in there and paint nails,” Mack said.
For more information about SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital – Midwest visit: https://www.ssmhealth.com/careers