A natural-born nurse: Taking nurturing to heart

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"The vast majority of families are in a state of crisis and rely heavily on the nurse for guidance, support and understanding."

"In turn, we often require the same support from our peer nurses."

Ashley Guiler, BSN, RN, PCCN, works in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit of the Ohio State Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital. Here, she’s dedicated to the care of critically ill patients. Some have failing hearts. Others’ hearts are being repaired with devices to regulate their heartbeats. Others may be receiving a new heart suddenly.

“Making sure that families can grasp the advanced concepts of a disease or a procedure and how it will impact their lives can be quite a challenge,” says Guiler, who’s worked on the fourth floor of the ICU at the Ross Heart Hospital since 2007.

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“You not only provide physical care, but emotional and psychological care.”

Guiler’s mother, Karen, ignited her dream to become a nurse at an early age.

“I remember dressing up in her operating-room garb when I was 3 years old,” Guiler says.

But it was when her grandfather experienced a period of rapid heartbeats and later underwent open-heart surgery that Guiler grasped the gravity of what her mother did at work for more than 30 years.

“This is when I realized the true definition and skill of nursing and found my love of cardiac medicine.”

Caring for patients at their most vulnerable moments is what propels Guiler to perform at her best every day.

“Providing safe and effective care in a timely manner is on every nurse’s mind in the ICU,” Guiler says. “Clear, concise communication is essential, and collaboration among multiple medical services is necessary.”

But she humbly admits she wouldn't be successful in her job without the support of her nursing colleagues.

“I'm proud to be a Ross nurse,” Guiler says. “Only a minute group of nurses in the country get to do what we do. I couldn’t be the nurse I am without my Ross nurse team.”

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