Nurse Practitioners Provide ”Extra Heart” for Patients at the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute

Organization: Service: Story Topics:
Heart Disease

Seven nurse practitioners at the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center are dedicated to providing additional support for patients experiencing heart failure or undergoing a cardiovascular procedure.

Nurse practitioners are nurses that have a Master’s or Doctorate degree, and can act as a primary provider. These are nurses who are qualified to treat certain conditions without direct supervision of a physician. Nurse practitioners evaluate patients, write prescriptions and treatment plans. At the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, there are five nurse practitioners that focus on cardiovascular surgery, one dedicated to Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) patients, and one that focuses on heart failure and electrophysiology patients.

“As nurse practitioners, we help our patients throughout their entire health care journey,” says Cindy Peters, RN, NP, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Medical Center. “We see our patients prior to their procedures, then while they are in the hospital, and then we follow up with them once they get home. Our patients feel a sense of ease being able to see the same familiar face throughout their journey.”

With the addition of nurse practitioners on the cardiovascular team, patients are able to be followed by the same provider for their entire care journey, which often leads to a shorter hospital stay. When patients recover faster, it increases their satisfaction and creates a simply better experience.

Hospitalized patients have the expertise of the nurse practitioners to work directly with the nurses at the bedside. The nurse practitioners are able to provide immediate support when a physician may not be available. They participate in the daily care discussions, and help with the transition home by spending more time with the patient and family to determine their discharge needs.

“After a patient leaves the hospital, we help make the initial physician appointment for after-hospital care,” says Peters. “We also do follow-up calls to ensure the patient is taking care of themselves, has all their medications and answer any questions they may have once they have gone home.”

The nurse practitioners at the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center are dedicated to making cardiovascular procedures a smooth journey for patients and their families.

“Our goal is to make sure our patients receive the care they need,” says Peters. “By following them throughout their entire journey, we make sure they go to all of their appointments and are recovering well after surgery.”