Tag Archives: MSN

Heart Health During Pregnancy

By Donna Andrews, MSN

Donna Andrews, MSN, is a certified nurse midwife at Lexington Women’s Care, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. Certified nurse midwives are advanced practice nurses who provide OB/GYN care for women throughout their lives. Here’s what she had to say about heart health during pregnancy.

A woman’s body produces 30 to 50 percent more blood during pregnancy. That can tax the heart and kidneys, and sometimes leave her short of breath. For most women, these changes do not cause lasting harm.

Donna Andrews, MSN, inside Lexington Women’s Care with a patient

Often, pregnancy is a woman’s first encounter with regular health visits and screenings. Urine, heart and blood pressure checks happen at every visit. An unusual result may require further tests for cardiac issues. We may discover hidden or even congenital heart problems such as heart murmurs, irregular heart rhythms or heart valve problems.

The trend of older women becoming pregnant raises the risk for serious issues including congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and even stroke, as the heart, kidneys, heart valves and arteries become strained.

A new diagnosis of high blood pressure during pregnancy is a warning sign for preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition that prevents the placenta from receiving adequate blood flow and may threaten the health and life of mother and child. We also screen for high blood pressure because women who have it during pregnancy have a 40 percent chance of it continuing after the baby is born.

Because the heart plays a critical role for both the mother and baby, it’s important to be aware of danger signs that can flag serious issues: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath with exertion; rapid heart rate; chest pain; coughing at night or a bloody cough; and infrequent urination. Because so many issues can be identified early and treated, keeping monthly prenatal appointments is a critical factor for long-term health.

Throughout the entire pregnancy, we encourage daily exercise. Something as simple as a 30-minute walk each day can help pregnant women stay within the parameters of healthy weight gain. We know that gaining too much during pregnancy can damage the heart, even after the baby is born.

It’s easy to say when someone is feeling winded or tired that ‘it’s just pregnancy.’ But we need to listen to women and be sensitive to all of their needs. We take care of women for a lifetime. Our work is mostly prevention. If we can teach women about becoming healthier, it contributes to better health overall.

#LMCJustSayKnow

Lexington Medical Center Applauds Six Nurses honored with Palmetto Gold Award

Palmetto Gold Award Winners

West Columbia, S.C. – Lexington Medical Center is proud to congratulate six nurses honored with the prestigious Palmetto Gold Award from the South Carolina Nurses Foundation (SCNF). Virginia Hall, Brad Harman Jr., James Jeffcoat, Lori Sutton, Shannon Turner and Amanda Witdoeckt were honored at a gala reception and awards dinner at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on Saturday, April 6, 2013.

The SCNF promotes high standards of health care by facilitating the advancement of nursing through awards, grants and scholarships. The organization gives the Palmetto Gold Award to 100 nurses across South Carolina each year for excellence in and commitment to the nursing profession. Criteria for the selection of Palmetto Gold recipients includes promoting and advancing nursing in a positive way in the practice setting or in the community; exemplifying care and commitment to patients, families, and colleagues; demonstrating leadership; facilitating growth and development of others; and contributing to the overall achievement of outcomes in the practice setting.

“We are very pleased to have six of our nurses receiving this distinguished award this year. These nurses go above and beyond expectations every day and we are very proud of each of them,” said Cindy Rohman, RN, MS, CNAA/BC, Director of Nursing at Lexington Medical Center.

Lexington Medical Center’s 2013 Palmetto Gold Winners:

Virginia Hall, BSN, CCRN, Clinical Mentor, Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit
Virginia is committed to the educational and professional development of students and peers. As the principal author for the Beacon Award application for critical care units, her unit received this prestigious award in December 2011.

Walter Bradley Harman Jr., RN, MBS, CRNA, Staff CRNA
Brad serves as the clinical coordinator for anesthesia students from the University of South Carolina and the Medical University of South Carolina. In this role, he coordinates morning case clinical discussions on evidence-based anesthesia practice with students and other CRNAs.

James W. Jeffcoat, MSN, RN-BC, Outcomes Coordinator
James organized Lexington County’s first STEMI response program in conjunction with area EMS agencies, community medical centers and physician practices, reducing the hospital’s door-to-balloon times by 46%. A member of Sigma Theta Tau International and a clinical nursing instructor for the University of South Carolina, he is a certified cardiovascular nurse who has received the LMC Gold award.

Lori T. Sutton, Staff RN
Lori is an example of expert practice and clinical curiosity. She has a desire for uncovering best practices and, as a result, has completed one published research study on the use of warmed cotton blankets that resulted in an organizational blanket warmer policy change.

Shannon M. Turner, BSN, CEN, Clinical Mentor, Emergency Department
Shannon displays professionalism and excellence daily through her clinical expertise and positive attitude. An integral part of the Stroke Committee, she was instrumental in achieving Stroke Certification at LMC in August 2011.

Amanda J. Witdoeckt, RN, CCRN, Registered Nurse, MICU
Amanda leads by example with her positive attitude, compassionate care and support of co-workers. She goes the extra mile by mastering new therapies, and supporting her peers.

The diverse nursing staff at Lexington Medical Center is committed to caring not only for our patients, but also for each other. The collaborative medical staff values the nursing practice for its contribution to positive patient outcomes. The six nurses recognized this year come from service capacities, solidifying our priority of quality care in all areas of the hospital.

For more information about Lexington Medical Center visit www.lexmed.com or Like our Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/lexingtonmedical.