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Executive Endings: Nancy Bucher, RN, MSN, NEA-BC

Nancy Bucher, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, Vice
President and Chief Nursing Officer
 Crozer-Keystone Health System

As I read the articles on heart care in this issue, I was once again reminded how dramatically cardiac care has changed over the years. Today we are seeing far fewer heart attacks than in years past, thanks to many new interventions. When heart attacks do occur, nurses play a crucial role in performing immediate interventions. In cases where patients in our hospitals suffer cardiac arrest, we are reducing the damage that may occur through nurse-driven interventions such as cutting-edge hypothermia therapy, described in one of the articles in this issue. Overall, fewer patients are requiring open heart surgeries today because such interventions are so effective.  

Although we still have hundreds of very frightened people come to our EDs with chest pain each year, happily, we are able to rule out heart attacks in most cases. Even so, we are glad that more people are aware of the signs of heart attack and take it seriously enough to come in and be evaluated.  

Nationwide, we are still working to build awareness of heart attack risks among women.  Despite the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of women, heart attacks in females often go unrecognized and undertreated because women do not present with the classic symptoms.  As nurses, we have an important role to play in increasing awareness among our female patients and those who love them, as well as the community we serve.

Several articles about cardiac care in this issue also appeared in the Magnet™ documentation that we submitted to the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) in early February, completing a crucial phase in our Journey to Magnet™ Designation. These articles represent just a small sampling of the 1,500-page compendium of nursing stories and quality projects that demonstrate nursing excellence at CKHS. I am enormously proud of your accomplishments, and I want to thank all of you, our nursing staff, for your daily dedication to our patients that made our application for Magnet designation possible.

 I also want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Zanet Lester, MSHA, BSN, RN, director of the CKHS Center for Nursing Excellence, for her enormous dedication, patience and resilience through months of hard work as she put together this huge document of our many noteworthy nursing achievements.

It seems especially appropriate this month that our Patient and Family Focused Model of Care is represented by two intertwined hearts. One heart represents our nurses, physicians and other members of our interdisciplinary team working together for the benefit of the second heart – our patients, their families and the community. Thank you for putting your whole hearts into creating a caring environment for everyone we serve every day