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Community Voices with Cynthia Murray: For 28-year St. Louise surgical nurse, Gilroy is in her blood

Published in the March 1 – 14, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Cynthia Murray

Cynthia Murray

Teamwork. That’s the key to my job. As a surgical nurse at St. Louise Regional Hospital, I can’t imagine doing anything that requires more communication, mutual respect, compassion or dedication than the work we do.

I was raised in Gilroy and feel deeply connected to this community. I went to Gavilan Community College for nursing school and did my training at Wheeler Hospital.

When I began working at St. Louise in 1989, I knew that I had found not only a career, but also a way to serve the community I love. I joined a staff that became like a family to me. Many of us have worked together more than 20 years.

When someone needs a surgical procedural, a knee replacement for example, the first step is working with his or her physician to determine where to have the operation.

Factors to consider include: Can the hospital provide excellent quality of care? Is the hospital close to home? Does the hospital have a record of good outcomes? For the local residents, the St. Louise answer to these questions is “yes.”

Once the hospital is chosen, the hospital team goes to work well before the surgery date. A scheduler works with the physician’s office to determine the best date and time for the procedure.

Before surgery, the room, the instruments, and all the equipment are readied. We have several excellent orthopedic surgeons on our medical staff and our team of nurses knows the specific room set-up for each one.

Before the procedure begins, the patient’s health care team including the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and me, the charge nurse, meet to answer any questions.

Information builds confidence and reduces the patient’s anxiety. After surgery, the patient is brought to recovery and eventually transitioned to the next appropriate level of care — which may be going home.

Our operating room team at St. Louise provides excellent care to each of our patients but our care extends beyond the operating room.

Before, during, and after a procedure, each patient is more than a medical record number. We know that he or she is a community member, a neighbor.

Being part of a health care team is a unique and fulfilling career. I’m lucky to be part of a special group of people at St. Louise.

Cynthia Murray is a surgical nurse at St. Louise Regional Hospital. She wrote this column for Morgan Hill Life.