Two large losses at Sonoma Valley Hospital
The Cardiac Rehabilitation (cardio rehab) program at Sonoma Valley Hospital (SVH) is experiencing some significant changes.
The first concerns the retirement of Maureen McGrane, R.N. who has administered the cardio rehab program for the past 23 years. Maureen was the “mother hen” to about 50 to 60 people in need of keeping healthy, cardiac-wise, by exercising and being monitored for blood pressure changes, pulse rate and oxygen level values. When there were changes, Maureen was immediately on the spot to make sure patients were sent to their respective doctors to see what should be done to improve their conditions. Every new patient who had experienced a cardiac-related incident and was sent to cardio rehab was put on a portable monitor to record working pulse rates and electrical functions (EKG).
The program is being turned over to the physical therapy department and the capable hands of Linda Ingles, P.T. Linda is affable and intelligent and will be a great person to help us in our efforts to stay heart-healthy. I’m sure all the patients who are part of the program are going to miss Maureen, but we also welcome Linda with open arms.
The real loss here is not related to a personnel situation, but rather to the aforementioned cardiac monitoring issue.
After having bypass surgery, ablation, pacemaker installation, stenting and various other cardiac-related procedures, patients are usually directed to do cardiac rehab after a predetermined period of time. During the first stages of this rehab, the patients are monitored. The procedure requires placing four patches in strategic locations to monitor heart function. The wireless monitor sends the information to a computer monitor at the nurse’s desk so she can view it al all times. After it is decided that the person is stable, they can proceed without monitoring. This takes (as in my case) about four weeks.
I realize it is expensive to have a registered nurse run this program, but I wonder how better we can serve the people who live here and support the hospital. It seems that the only constant at the hospital is change. From what I can gather, the program is going to be called something like “Senior Wellness,” but with only nine pieces of equipment, and opening it up to numerous others, it could be rather crowded. As it is, there are many occasions when we all have to wait for machines to become available. It has been mentioned that it will be open five days a week, and that may help.
I hope that, somehow, these patients who need monitoring will be able to do it here in Sonoma. If there are any suggestions out there, please send them to the rehabilitation department of the hospital.
Rich Caselli is a retired Sonoma Valley dentist and a member of the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission.