Heart Month Profile: Adrian McKee, RN, Emergency Department

For today's Heart Month profile, we caught up with Adrian McKee, a Registered Nurse in our Emergency Department.

What does it take to be a nurse in the Emergency Department (ED)?

The ED requires us to have competency in many fields of health care, an understanding of Northern Ontario’s diverse patient population, the ability to work in a high-stress, fast paced environment, and most importantly the ability to work as a team.

What is unique about your role?

An ED nurse has a high degree of autonomy and as such, you have to act accordingly. Situations occur daily in the ED where seconds matter and immediate action can save a life. Additional training allows ED nurses the ability to respond to critical situations. For example, with my extra training, I was able to defibrillate (shock) a patient whose heart was not beating effectively, and restore his normal heart rhythm.

What inspired you to work in the ED and cardiac care?

I wanted to be involved in a place where you could work on the front lines of health care. The emergency environment is unique in that it allows one to provide life-saving interventions immediately to numerous types of critical conditions, helping those when they need it most.

How does your role impact patient care?

The emergency nurse is the first to attend to patients when they present to the ED. It is the initial response provided by the nurse to identify presenting issues and provide crucial interventions appropriately. The ED works well as an interdisciplinary team which significantly impacts patient care and outcomes here at our Hospital.

On the concept of practice what you preach, do you have any personal tips on how to stay heart healthy?

Remember to do your best to listen to your body. Regular exercise, healthy diet and self-care leading to a positive mindset is of the greatest importance.

Any final thoughts?

Happy Heart Month from your friends in the ED!