Hear from some of the more then 200 people who work on the Mount Sinai Heart team.
Cora Lagrazon, RN
Cora Lagrazon is one of our Registered Nurses in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai.
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My name is Cora Lagrazon, I am a registered nurse in the Cardiothoracic ICU and working as one of the staff here, working with Dr. Scurlock and Dr. Adams.
With young patients, of course, you need, how you call this, patience, plus your knowledge of how do deal with them, according to their age and how you can release emotional needs that they need; most of the time it is emotional. They are doing well, especially the young ones with valve repairs and other surgeries. The very old, they are very sick most of the time and they need our tender loving and care.
Cora, would you say one of your jobs is to pick up problems early?
You have to be advanced. In this field we have to be advanced. We have to pick up the problems of the patient. We have to assess what the patient’s problems and needs are, especially if they are like something is happening inside the patient already. You have to assess by the numbers and how the patient looks. We have to tell the doctor at once, so they can assess really what the basic problem is so we can treat them, leading to proper care and easy management of the patient
It is also an honor to be in this Magnet hospital because of course everybody is expecting that we will give the best care that we will give to the patients, not only on the physical but on the emotional and spiritual aspect needs of the patients.
Irina Plotkina, RPA-C
Irina Plotkina is one of our Physician Assistants in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai.
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Irina: My name is Irina Plotkina, I am a physician assistant. I have been here for eight years.
Male: You have been eight years on this team?
Irina: Yes. So far this is my first and the last job.
Male: Oh! So, you came…
Irina: Straight from the school.
Male: Oh! That is wonderful! So do you see the patients before the case?
Irina: We meet with the patients before the case, we meet the patients after the case in the intensive care unit when they are awaking up, and sometimes, we actually see the patients in the step-down unit also.
Average day is about 12-14 hours. Usually, it is staying in the OR during the surgery, making sure everything goes nice and smooth, pushing the cases along, making sure that everything goes well.
Male: How is it interacting with the perfusionists, the surgeons, and the nurses?
Irina: Oh! We have a great team. I am sure that everybody says the same thing because we have in the OR excellent team, excellent communication. Everybody speaks the same language, patient care, patient care, patient care!
Male: Is there one part of the team you like better than the other?
Irina: Ricardo! I like Ricardo the best.
Male: Do you have any specific patient stories you could share, maybe something that stood out?
Irina: Let’s see. Dr. Adams saved a really young patient. She was having her third child. During the delivery, something went wrong. She had a bleeding and she had a heart failure. When we saw her, our team; she was pretty much almost dead. So, Dr. Adams went ahead, and he put the LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device). We spent the whole night doing that and nobody cared how many hours you worked, how many hours you stay, and everybody just stayed to do the right thing and a couple of months later, she has a beautiful child. She is alive. That’s it, she’s alive. That’s the most important part and besides her son has a mother.
Mary Joy Santillan, RN
Mary Joy Santillan is one of our senior operating room nurses. Mary Joy has been at Mount Sinai for almost 8 years and in that time she has served as both a mentor and teacher to our nursing staff.
In July 2008, Dr. David Adams presented Mary Joy with the Mount Sinai Heart Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Clinical Award for Excellence, “In recognition of extraordinary dedication to patient care.”
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I am Mary Joy Santillan, I am one of the cardiothoracic OR nurses.
I have learned a lot here doing aneurysm, doing mitral valve repairs, everything; off-pump CABGs, minimal invasive surgery, we do a lot here.
Everybody is a VIP, very important patient. Knowing at the end of the day that you will be able to ease and nurse people back to their health.
Nursing here in Sinai is very rewarding. I like what I am doing here. It kind of gets intense sometimes, but it is a team work. The way the cardiac OR runs, you know, is a total teamwork. I would not trade my co-workers for, you know, other units. Not that I am belittling the efforts of our units, but people here in cardiac OR, especially the nurses, they work together. We are like a family. We are like a team. We work together for a while. So you spend most of your time at work than probably at home, so you might as well enjoy what you are doing and love the people you are working with.