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Heart Surgery Patient Guide

A Patient's Guide to Heart Surgery: A Guide for Visitors
Post Surgery Healthcare Team

Post surgery consultation.

The following people will treat and help your loved one recover while in the CT Unit:

Physicians: There will be several physicians who will provide care, including cardiothoracic intensivists, cardiothoracic and thoracic surgeons, and cardiologists.

Nurse Managers: Most questions, issues or concerns regarding the patient should go to the nurse managers. The nurse managers are registered nurses who manage the nursing care as well as personnel in the nursing unit. They supervise the day-to-day unit operations and patient care.

Assistant Nurse Managers: Assistant nurse managers are registered nurses who oversee day-to-day unit operations, supervise patient care, ensure smooth unit operation and perform a variety of managerial tasks, along with the nurse manager.

Clinical Nurse Specialists: Clinical nurse specialists are registered nurses who are involved in guiding patient care and providing clinical education and support to nurses, patients and families. Clinical nurse specialists have graduate-level degrees and national certification in the care of cardiothoracic patients.

Certified Nurse Practitioners: Certified nurse practitioners are registered nurses who work with the surgeons, cardiologists, and anesthesiologists in managing the care of patients. Certified Nurse Practitioners have graduate-level degrees and national certification in the treatment and care of acutely ill patients.

Surgical and Cardiology Nurse Clinicians: Surgical and cardiology nurse clinicians are registered nurses who coordinate the patient's plan of care with members of the health care team. They work closely with the cardiothoracic surgeon and cardiologist, seeing the patient before surgery, while the patient is in the ICU and in the telemetry units.

Communication Nurses: Communication nurses are registered nurses who work with patients and their families to provide education and information, including lodging and hotel facilities, transportation, and concierge services.

Registered Nurses (RNs): Registered nurses provide direct care to each patient as well as patient/family education.

Clinical Technicians (CTs): Clinical technicians are specially trained to assist the patient with daily activities, as well as taking the patient's vital signs and collecting lab specimens. They work under the direct supervision of registered nurses.

Patient Care Nurse Assistants (PCNAs): Patient care nurse assistants are trained to assist with the patient's daily activities, including bathing and using the bathroom. PCNAs work under the direct supervision of nurses.

CT Unit Secretary: The CT Unit secretary is probably the first person you will meet when you enter the CT Unit. The CT Unit secretary schedules and coordinates tests, maintains medical records and facilitates nursing unit. When the patient's family spokesperson calls for an update report, the unit secretary forwards the call to the appropriate nurse.

Respiratory Therapists: Respiratory therapists provide respiratory care as well as monitor and diagnose the patient's respiratory status. Respiratory therapists also work with the patient during oxygen therapy and special breathing treatments.

Registered Dietitians: Registered dietitians help the patient plan and prepare a diet to meet specific nutritional needs. Patients should speak to a nurse if they would like to work with a dietitian.

Social Workers: Social workers are licensed health care providers who offer emotional support and guidance to patients and their families. Please let your nurse know if you would like to work with a social worker.

Case Managers: Case managers are registered nurses who coordinate discharge planning and work with patients to anticipate and plan for their needs beyond their hospital stay.

Pastoral Care Personnel: Pastoral care personnel include clergy and counselors, who provide spiritual support and guidance to families. If you would like to speak with a pastoral care personnel, please let us know.
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