In celebration of Nurses’ Week
When nurses get together, whether it be in conversation or a team effort to resolve a complicated medical situation, there is a bond that can’t be explained to those outside the medical field.
It is a knowing and an understanding that we, as nurses, are kindred spirits in a world of caring for those who, for a period of time in their lives, are unable to take care of themselves.
We attend to the patients, their families and, often, each other. It’s that experience, knowledge and, above all, compassion that are the gifts that nurses give to others.
L-R: Viktor Solorzano, RN, Lynda Masson, RN, BSN, Patti Bombadier RN, and Erin O’Neill BSN, CCRN
Two nurses who bring all this and more to their jobs are Patti Bombadier, RN, clinical leader Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at Cape Cod Hospital and Martha Roy, RN, staff nurse in the Cardiac Catheterization lab at Falmouth Hospital.
Between the two of them, they have had almost 80 years of nursing experience. Both have a wealth of knowledge in medical/surgical nursing and varied experiences in the area of cardiac care and interventional procedures.
“I like to look at nursing as a journey,” said Bombadier. She has traveled a few roads to her present role at Cape Cod Hospital.
She graduated from Peter Bent Brigham School of Nursing and a combination hybrid program with Emmanuel College in 1977. She remained at Brigham and Women’s Hospital until 1979, gaining experience in medical/surgical nursing, intensive care, burns, trauma, and the cardiac surgical intensive care unit.
Over the years, she has also worked for the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, Boston Medical Center (formerly Boston City Hospital), a return to the Brigham and finally a permanent position at Cape Cod Hospital in 1983. Her experiences at Cape Cod Hospital include the cardiac care unit, emergency room, interventional radiology, cardiac surgical unit and, since 2012, a clinical leader in the ICU, CVICU.
Bombadier has seen the hospital grow and evolve.
“When I first came here, we basically ruled out myocardial infarctions (MI) and if the patient had a heart attack, they were sent to Boston. The fact that we have a cardiac surgery program here is amazing!
“I’ve seen young adults come in with an aortic dissection (a life-threatening tear in the main branch of blood flow from the heart) from high speed accidents, who would never have made it to Boston by med flight or ambulance and we have saved their lives..
“We now have a psych unit, oncology department, cardiac catheterization lab, and interventional radiology. It’s very important that there are many opportunities for nurses.”
Bombadier encourages nurses to stay on top of technology, changes in nursing and to move around to different areas of the hospital.
“It makes you resilient, open to change, provides new opportunities and it’s invigorating.”
Roy has also traveled a few roads in her nursing journey, with most of her experience at Falmouth Hospital. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a BSN in 1978, followed by stints at hospitals in Stoughton, Boston and Beth Israel Deaconess in Plymouth (formerly Jordan Hospital).
“I took a job in ACU (after the nurse returned) assisting with special procedures, such as bronchoscopies and cardioversions based in that department,” said Roy. “I became a member of the cardiac cath team when the procedures were being done in a mobile unit at the end of the Post-anesthesia Care Unit (PACU).”
The cardio-vascular procedure lab now has a permanent location in the bottom level of the hospital.
While all the patients who need cardiac catheterizations now go to Cape Cod Hospital for that procedure, in case they need further intervention, the lab remains busy with other procedures.
“We do bronchoscopies, cardioversions, angiograms, pacemaker insertion and other procedures,” said Roy. She and the other five nurses on the team rotate to radiology to assist with arthrograms, lumbar punctures and placement of peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines.
“I work with an awesome group of nurses,” said Roy. “We know what the other one is thinking and everyone works well together. I also like working in this department because we have a variety of procedures and it’s different every day. We interact with other departments and the specialists are easy to work with.”
She likes the relationships that she has formed with patients over the years.
“There is always a patient that I’d be close to and feel a special connection. Now that I work more with patients on an outpatient basis, I still see some of them weekly or monthly when they come in for their procedures and there is still that opportunity to develop a relationship.”
Roy has also found nursing to be a family-friendly career throughout the years.
“It has been nice to work in an area where my children went to school and it’s been great to have schedules I could change to accommodate their needs.”
What Colleagues Say
“Patti is a great advocate for any nursing issues that come up,” Erin O’Neill, BSN, CCRN, staff nurse in the ICU at CCH said of Bombadier. “She is a great resource person for any questions that arise and she part of the reason I took a staff position in the ICU.”
“Patti is not only an incredible advocate for patients but also and advocate for the nurses especially the new ones,” said Lisa Kingston, BSN, RN, CCRN.
“I have worked with Martha for four to five years, she is a great mentor and is always willing to teach, especially in teachable moments,” Jennifer Benedette, RN said of Roy.
“Martha is always smiling, very approachable and always gives the right advice,” said Jill Knowlton, RN. “We love working with her!”