Emergency room staff nurse, Victoria LoConte, recalls cardiac patient’s return to offer thanks to her and her colleagues.
Massachusetts native, Victoria LoConte, is an emergency room staff nurse and former nurse manager, case manager, and visiting nurse serving the Greater Boston area. Today based at Everett Hospital, LoConte looks back on a recent return visit from a patient who, weeks earlier, had arrived at the Cambridge Health Alliance facility critically ill and experienced a massive heart attack.
“The Cambridge Health Alliance Everett Hospital emergency department was delighted to receive a return visit from a grateful former patient,” explains LoConte.
Cambridge Health Alliance is a healthcare provider in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities within Massachusetts. Everett Hospital is one of two Cambridge Health Alliance hospitals north of Boston, is a teaching site for Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine, and serves the 200,000 residents of Everett, Chelsea, Malden, Saugus, Revere, and Winthrop.
The Cambridge Health Alliance Everett Hospital emergency department has some of the shortest wait times in Massachusetts and is one of the state’s highest-rated ERs for patient satisfaction.
The patient in question had previously walked into the hospital’s emergency department several weeks prior, complaining of chest pains, LoConte reveals.
“They were driven to Everett Hospital, and after being brought straight to a bed and triaged, the patient went into cardiac arrest,” says the experienced emergency room staff nurse.
Thankfully, the patient was successfully resuscitated by the hospital’s emergency department team and, within minutes, arrangements had been put in place to transport them to a tertiary care center for cardiac catheterization.
A tertiary care center is a hospital which provides a level of care obtained from specialists after a referral from providers of primary care. Cardiac catheterization, meanwhile, is a procedure carried out to examine how well the heart is working. “A catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel,” LoConte explains, “which leads to their heart for both diagnostic and interventional purposes.” “This story highlights the dangers associated with the elderly in the winter. As this patient was doing, shoveling in the cold will cause one’s heart rate and blood pressure to increase; now consider that the cold is also causing vasoconstriction and is decreasing the amount of oxygen supplied to the heart. This is a perfect storm for at-risk adults and is known to be a trigger for heart attacks,” LoConte explains. “The winter is also hazardous in that it can trigger respiratory problems and icy conditions can cause falls.” “The winter is a very busy time in the emergency room and I try to encourage my elderly patients to take the necessary precautions,” LoConte concludes.
Once fully recovered, the patient returned to Everett Hospital to personally thank the team members on duty during the morning on which they had first arrived, including Victoria LoConte.
The emergency room team was delighted to be visited by this patient again when he came back to thank the staff. The hospital’s newsletter reported on the visit, taking pictures and publishing the story online.
“It’s always wonderful to receive happy visits from patients who we’ve helped,” adds LoConte, wrapping up, “and I’m immensely proud of the work that my colleagues and I do each and every day at Everett Hospital.”
Victoria LoConte is an emergency room staff nurse at CHA Everett Hospital in Everett, Massachusetts. She holds an associate’s degree in nursing, obtained from the Lawrence Memorial School of Nursing with Regis College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to her current position, LoConte has also worked as an urgent care facility nurse manager, a case manager, and as a skilled visiting nurse serving the Greater Boston area. Her experience includes adult, geriatric, and pediatric care.