Helping Patients Stay Heart Smart
Reg McCurdy’s story
“Never underestimate the power of what you know and how you choose to share it with others…what you know and learn could save someone’s life.”
When he was younger, Reg McCurdy never thought he would become a nurse. But a series of jobs led him from being a hospital transporter to working as a travel nurse with a specialty in cardiac care.
After spending a few years working as a travel nurse at two North Carolina hospitals, Reg made his way to Vermont. Today, he works as a travel nurse with a cardiology unit at the UVM Medical Center in Burlington. In this role, Reg provides care for patients with heart problems, giving them their medications and preparing them for any tests, surgeries or other procedures they might need. Reg stays in close contact with his patients’ doctors, keeping the doctors informed about any changes in a patient’s condition or other medical issues.
One of the more challenging parts of Reg’s job involves teaching patients about their heart conditions and what can be done to help them recover. Often, poor eating habits, a lack of exercise, stress and other lifestyle issues have contributed to their heart problems. Convincing people that they need to change bad habits can be hard and Reg knows that ultimately these changes are up to the patient. He does his best to give them good information, listen to their questions and provide whatever support he can.
Answering questions and giving advice to family and friends about health-related matters is the most satisfying aspect of his career. Reg knows firsthand the impact his medical knowledge and quick action can have on a person—he actually saved his father-in-law’s life. Because of his nursing experience, Reg noticed symptoms that no one else did and was able to get his father-in-law the proper treatment in time.
Reg advises young people entering the nursing profession to reflect on their interactions with people and think about how their words and actions affect others. Reg says,
“Never underestimate the power of what you know and how you choose to share it with others. What you know and learn could save someone’s life!”