A recent discovery I’m making about myself as I live through my early adulthood life: I love hearts.

I’m not talking paper hearts for Valentines Day or knitted hearts all over my sweater or sterling silver hearts hanging from my earrings (although I loves me some of these). I’m talking real live hearts, people. That fistish-sized muscular organ generally responsible for keeping the rest of your body in working order.

I didn’t have to spend much time at my first job to discover I loved taking care of cardiac patients. I loved it. They were challenging, complex, interesting and rewarding. I fell in love with cardiac surgery and discovered cardiactransplant, an even more unbelievable feat of modern medicine.
The more I spend time with these and other patients, the more I love being a cardiac nurse. I love my job, and I feel so lucky to be doing something I love.
Northwestern is an incredible place to be a nurse, and an incredibly unique feature of our ICU is our procurement team of nurses–yes nurses–who play a major role in bringing donor hearts to sick patients awaiting cardiac transplant. These nurses work with others to coordinate transplant AND they get to go with the team who physically goes to procure the donor heart. So. Awesome. I was talking to a nurse today who told me she just flew in to get a new heart to the patient she was currently taking care of.
I would LOVE to do this someday. What an exciting way to see the organ donation and transplant process come full circle. Here’s to hoping.

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