Working in Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit "Endlessly Rewarding" for BSN Graduate

Sep 7, 2016

Recently, alumna Kaitlyn Parks (BSN '15) emailed Clinical Instructor Doug Cunningham with an update on how she's doing post-graduation. With Kaitlyn’s permission, it is shared below.

From: Kaitlyn Parks
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 10:31 PM
To: Cunningham, Douglas S
Subject: Keeping in touch

Hey Doug!

How are you? I am writing you to give you an update on where I am since graduation. As you may or may not remember, I was in your clinical group back in Spring 2015, and thus graduated this past December 2015. During my time in your group, I expressed a great interest and appreciation for cardiology. On the days that I would rotate through the CVICU, you used to tell me that "my eyes would light up" when I would discuss the pathophysiology of my patient, and how notable it was that my heart was in the CVICU. My career goal was always to find myself in a CVICU, one way or another!

Today, I am happy to tell you that I currently work in the CVICU at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. We have been ranked the #1 cardiology hospital for the past 22 years, and recently received the ranking as the #2 overall hospital in the U.S.! While there are many CVICUs here at our main campus, our primary population is heart and lung transplant patients. We are one of the only units in the U.S. where nurses receive the training to manage ECMO patients 1:1, and we regularly care for patients with a VAD or total artificial heart. While I still have a few months to officially become certified in these devices, I am already proficient at managing patients on CRRT, which I understand is not common in many other places. The autonomy that nurses receive here is amazing, but does not come without its expectations. One of the coolest things about this unit is that every nurse that works here reminds me of you. They aspire to learn, interpret and analyze every pathophysiology that we come across. It has been challenging my knowledge and critical thinking skills in ways that I never thought possible, but is endlessly rewarding. I can't help but to think of all the days you challenged my own reasoning with pathophysiology questions, and to thank you for helping me get to where I am now.

I hope all is well with you, and please let me know if there is ever any way that I can assist you or your students. Keep making your students ask the "why's" for everything that they come across, it is amazing how much it really pays off in the end!


Kaitlyn Parks


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