Reflecting on her over forty years as a nurse, Marian Catanese, RN, SGRN, explains her current role as an Endoscopy Nurse at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and her focus on being a patient advocate.
During my many years as a nurse, I have worked in a variety of areas. After beginning on a medical/surgical unit, I spent nine years working in a critical care unit before moving to the post-anesthesia care unit for a decade. For the last twenty-three years, I have been an endoscopy nurse at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.
In this nursing role, I have numerous responsibilities. The responsibility to which I give the highest priority is being a voice and advocate for the patient. Often times, patients arriving for procedures are apprehensive about their procedures, as well as the potential findings. Some patients are tearful and trembling, while others may be quiet and withdrawn or outwardly angry at the circumstances requiring the procedure.
Every day on the job, I take the time to talk with each patient, explaining what to expect, step-by-step. I ensure they have a complete understanding of their scheduled procedure. I ask questions, seeking their input regarding past procedures and past experiences with sedation. Most importantly, I stop what I am doing and listen when they speak or share information. It is crucial that all patients know that I heard them. I reassure all patients that I will be there with them every step of the way to keep them safe and to keep them comfortable.
Additionally, I am the liaison between the patient and the physician. I ensure all relevant data is shared so the physician can be fully prepared prior to commencement of the procedure. I am the voice of the patients, ensuring their needs and concerns are addressed when they are sedated and not able to speak for themselves. Advocating on behalf of each patient has been the foundation of my nursing practice throughout my career.