AUGUST 2009

UCLA PEOPLE
 

Aimee Rand, R.N., P.H.N., M.P.H., Clinical Nurse II, Telemetry, SMUCLA

Telemetry Nurse Enjoys Keeping Her Patients and Herself Heart Healthy

Aimee raises awareness for HIV/AIDS and promotes UCLA teamwork.

What are your job responsibilities?
Telemetry patients often come to us from the Intensive Care Unit and the Emergency Department. They are on cardiac monitors that record their heart rate and rhythm. If there are significant changes or if there are any complaints of discomfort from patients, it is our responsibility to notify the medical staff and develop an immediate action plan.

In addition, one of the responsibilities of the telemetry nurse is to educate patients about health maintenance and disease prevention as they prepare for discharge. We educate our patients and their family members about diet, exercise, medications and other lifestyle changes, particularly regarding congestive heart failure.

How long have you worked at UCLA?
I’ve been working in the Telemetry Unit in the sixth tower of Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital for only a year, but I’ve held various public health jobs at UCLA prior to nursing. I received my Master of Public Health degree from UCLA in 2006 and I am starting the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the UCLA School of Nursing in the fall, so I am a proud Bruin.

Does this job make you more conscience about your heart health?
I am personally grateful for my own cardiac health, and working in the Telemetry Unit inspires me to maintain my health. I have a background in triathlons and multi-sport events. I participated in the AIDS Life Cycle (ALC) in 2007 and recently completed one this past June. ALC is a cycling event to raise funds for HIV education and services. I participated with 2,150 other cyclists for seven days and six nights, riding 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We raised $10.5 million this year for HIV/AIDS direct services in California and increased awareness of the pandemic.

I am particularly concerned about how the disease devastates so many African American communities. Completing AIDS Life Cycle reaffirms my hope that we will move forward to decrease the heavy burden of HIV/AIDS in the black community as well as all communities in the U.S. and abroad.

How did UCLA get involved?
Julie Sorg, R.N., M.S.N., came to one of our nursing seminars and asked all the nurses about our participation in events outside of work. I told her about ALC and Heidi Crooks, senior associate director, UCLA Operations and Patient Care Services, decided to support me and bought me a UCLA bib and cycle jersey to represent UCLA during the event. I was able to raise over $3,500 and promote UCLA at the same time and was honored to have other cyclists ask me about the jersey and my job at UCLA.

Is there a particularly memorable experience you’ve had at UCLA with a patient?
I can’t think of just one experience that captures the amazing things that happen here every day. I work with an exceptionally committed staff and feel honored to participate so personally in someone’s care. The appreciation our team receives from our patients and their families is always so rewarding.

As any nurse will tell you, our job extends beyond the corridors of the hospital. It’s sometimes difficult to separate my life from my work and patients are still on my mind after leaving a shift!

Patients and their family members, are often scared arriving to our floor. I try to ease their concerns by talking them through everything. I enjoy having the opportunity to connect with a variety of people. I learn from our patients, most of whom are geriatric, through stories of their life experiences. I also really enjoy working with the interdisciplinary staff of doctors, nurses, care partners, physical therapists and technicians. We have a wonder-ful staff and I am continually learning and growing in this environment.

What do you enjoy doing on your time off?
I enjoy triathlons, going to the beach, and baking. I’m doing the Camp Pendleton Triathlon in August and Ride for AIDS 7 in October, to benefit children living with HIV/AIDS. Sometimes I volunteer as a nurse for community events and participate in environmental clean-ups.