Preparing Patients for Surgery

Irene Bonin’s story
Preoperative Nurse

“Every day I work as a nurse I feel I have made a difference for that patient and their family.”

Irene knew what she wanted to be from the moment she interviewed her next door neighbor, a nurse, for an eighth grade school project. After the interview, Irene saw nursing as an ideal career and opportunity to help others.

Today Irene is just as excited about working as a nurse as she was in eighth grade. Whether it’s working with patients of all ages and health needs or providing a variety of services, each day is different than the one before.

For the last ten years, Irene has been a preoperative nurse at the UVM Medical Center. In this role, she prepares patients for upcoming surgeries, letting them know what to expect. In addition to providing them with information, she records a patient’s health history and physically prepares them for surgery by starting IVs and assisting with anesthesia.

Irene’s duties as a nurse extend far beyond delivering one-on-one patient care. Irene often acts as the charge nurse in her unit by coordinating a patient’s stay with other services they might need and making sure things go smoothly for them.

Irene enjoys having the freedom to provide patients with care that meets their individual needs. On one occasion, a six-year-old girl was feeling anxious about her upcoming surgery. Irene was able to take the little girl and her parents through a practice run of the day so they would know what to expect. By having the flexibility to spend a day with the family, Irene was able to ease the child’s fears about her surgery.

As a registered nurse, Irene wears many hats. She is a staff nurse, school nurse, a self-employed legal nurse consultant, and even a parish nurse at her church.

“Nursing can provide a schedule to meet any needs and interests, a variety of environments to work in and a good income,” says Irene.

Regardless of the nursing path students choose, Irene knows a solid future for nursing careers lies ahead, providing students with a variety of options and the opportunity to shape the future of nursing.

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