Monday, February 25, 2013

Nurses Remember the Good Old Days -- Again

Lois Sutphin and Lisa Mountjoy

Bernice Pearson and Janice Foley

I noticed today that Lisa Mountjoy, RN, is celebrating 43 years with Fauquier Health. Lisa was one of the first nurses I met when I began working for Fauquier Health myself five years ago. I interviewed her, along with Lois Sutphin, Bernice Pearson and Janice Foley, about their early years in nursing at Fauquier Hospital. They did have some stories to tell!

Since it was one of my favorite pieces to research and write, I'll reprint it here. It originally appeared in the Fauquier Times-Democrat, and it's still worth a read.

Veteran ED nurses have seen it all

Lisa Mountjoy, a nurse in the Fauquier Hospital Outpatient Procedures Department and Lois Sutphin, a nurse in the Fauquier Hospital Infusion Center, gathered in the staff lounge and pored over old news clippings from the last 33 years. One article, cut out and stapled into a scrapbook, was torn and faded. The date on the page showed it was from September of 1978, three years after Mountjoy graduated from nursing school and joined Fauquier Hospital.

Both women remembered the story well.

Mountjoy said, “That was when we were still in the ‘old ED’ (a six-bed unit). Only that week we had been approved for helicopter transport.”

The newspaper article told of a serious car accident. A 22-year-old man had been pierced with an 8-foot-long board. “It was unbelievable,” said Mountjoy, who was head nurse of the ER at the time. “It went right through him. They had to cut both ends of the board away in order to get him in the ambulance.”

Attending the victim was Dr. Joseph Servideo, the current chairman of the Fauquier Hospital Emergency Department. He was then 34 and in his first year with Fauquier Hospital. He said, “The board had collapsed his lung, went behind his heart, behind his abdomen and through his bowel. I had never seen anything like it, and I was scared to death.”

Dr. Servideo and one of the hospital surgeons got the patient stabilized and he was airlifted to the Washington Hospital Center, where he was operated on successfully.

Former ED nurses Bernice Pearson and Janice Foley, now both retired, were on the scene that night too. Foley said, “It was a small community back then. If something big happened, you heard about it and just went in to help.”

In those early days of helicopter transport, Foley was called on several times to travel with patients on what she called “the MASH helicopters.” She said, “I’d be in the helicopter holding the IV and the patient would be in this big tube, attached to the outside of the helicopter. Sometimes when they didn’t have a medic, they’d ask the nurses to help with transport.”

The good old days

Sutphin, who began working at Fauquier Hospital in 1973, says that the hospital was a very different place back then. “We didn’t have a doctor in the ER all the time. I’d be in the OR and the bell would ring when there was a patient waiting at the ER door.”

Foley remembered, “One night a man arrived with a wire sticking three inches out of his eye. I had trouble finding a doctor and when I got one on the phone, he asked, ‘Can you see the wire?’

“I said ‘Yes,’ so he said, ‘Well, pull it out then!’ ”

Because of the frequent absence of an ER doctor, then nurses were often required to use their own judgment. Pearson told the story of a night when she was making her rounds and Foley was in the ER. “We heard this small voice say ‘Help.’ We checked the parking lot. No car. No rescue squad. So we went on with our conversation. We heard it again. ‘Help. Someone please help me.’

“We went outside and found a man hanging on to the wall in the parking lot. He had been shot in the leg and was AWOL from the service. We brought him in.”

Foley added, “We didn’t have any security back then. We figured if they can make it as far as the parking lot, that’s good enough for us.”

Foley remembered, “We had someone come in who had been shot in the chest and wasn’t going to make it. A motorcycle gang had been involved in a shootout. About 30 of his friends showed up and said, ‘We want his jacket,’ so I gave it to them.” Later, Foley realized she had given away evidence in the shooting. “I would have given them anything they asked for. They were scary.”

Sutphin said, “We made our own saline, distilled our own water, and prepared our own medicines that we got from Rhodes Drug Store. We used glass bottles for IVs instead of plastic bags.”

Mountjoy added, “We didn’t wear gloves back then. I remember one man came in who had been hit in the head with an ax. There was a lot of blood, but he was still talking. I held his head together with my bare hands while he was taken to Fairfax. HIV and Hepatitis were unknown back then.”

Thirty years ago, the most common emergencies handled in the ER happened on farms and in car accidents, according to the veteran nurses. Sutphin remembered, “Hay pickers, corn pickers, mower accidents. I remember when five people in one family were killed in a car accident. That’s how we got the traffic signal in Remington. One time someone came in whose whole bottom lip had been bitten off by a horse. They sewed it back on.”

She said, “I remember one little girl who lost her arm in some machinery. I was scrubbing that little girl’s arm, and I was crying like a baby the whole time.”

Dr. Servideo pointed out that emergency room physicians have so many more tools than they did 30 years ago. “Back then, we had X-rays, EKGs and some limited blood work. Now we’ve got CT scanners, MRIs, Dopplar ultrasound and multiple lab tests that can tell us so much more.”

The range of medicines has expanded tremendously too. “Back in the 1970s, if someone came in with a heart attack, we didn’t have much to offer – some pain relief, oxygen and nitroglycerin. Now, we can give them clot busters that within 20-30 minutes can dissolve the clot that is causing the heart attack.”

Clinicians’ training has changed, too. “Back then,” said Dr. Servideo said, “We didn’t have the specialty backup that we do now. Acute care specialties were just coming into being back then. Emergency room doctors were just family doctors who worked in the ER.

“And nurses, although they came out of nursing school very well trained and experienced in hands-on care, didn’t have to have the same skills they do now. In 2008, they need to be able to read heart monitors and work IV pumps, things that didn’t exist back then. We have an extensive program for new nurses that includes lots of lectures and hands-on experience, as well as working alongside experienced nurses.”


A close-knit group

Mountjoy and Sutphin remember the early days of the Fauquier ER as a time when the medical staff worked very closely together. “It was a much smaller group,” said Mountjoy. “We had six nurses who worked together for years. And the wonderful doctors… Dr. Servideo, Dr. (Eric) Maybach, Dr. (Steven) von Elten worked in the ED back then.”

Mountjoy remembered, “A child came in who had run her bike down her driveway into traffic. They thought they would have to amputate her leg. Dr. Benjamin Allen was the perfect doctor to help her. He had an artificial leg himself. He was able to offer encouragement and tell the family that their child’s life was not over. He told them how he played tennis and became a ski instructor.”

Foley and Pearson agreed that Fauquier Hospital has been able to attract wonderful doctors. Foley said, “When I first started here, we only had general practitioners, no pediatricians, no OB/GYNs. I remember when Dr. (Tom) Meyers (an OB/GYN doctor) first came here to look at Warrenton. He and Dr. (Bob) Young said they walked up and down Main Street and talked to people. They found that people were friendly and that there was a real sense of community. They wanted to start their practices and raise their families here. I’ve heard that kind of story a lot over the years.”

Of all the wonderful people the nurses remember from their early days in the ER, one they speak of most fondly is “Grandma” Ruth Krusie. Krusie was a legendary nurse whose memory is honored with the hospital’s Ruth Krusie award, given annually to an outstanding Fauquier Hospital nurse.

Mountjoy, Sutphin, Foley and Pearson all were honored with the Ruth Krusie award.

Mountjoy said, “Ruth Krusie was 72 when she passed away, and worked here up until 9 months before she died. She was so much fun, and a wonderful nurse. Before she went home every night, she’d tell us, ‘Watch out for the fools.’ ”

The women also remember the hospital’s snack bar wistfully. Sutphin said, “There was one long counter with some stools, and three or four tables for two people each. And there was the famous chicken salad. Volunteers – the chicken pickers -- would pull the chicken off the bone. It was wonderful.”

Mountjoy broke in, “And they made the best milk shakes. I liked mine chocolaty, but not too chocolaty. They knew just how many squirts of syrup to use for me.”

Mountjoy recalled that one night, visitors to the hospital cafeteria got a surprise. It seems that a jail inmate set his own mattress on fire and was brought into the ER with burns. Mountjoy said, “He escaped and ran buck naked through the hospital -- it was a shorter run back then. He ran into the cafeteria looking for something cool to put on his burns.

“He scared the cafeteria ladies, but one of the nurses ordered him into the shower.”

The nurses maintain that health care was much more of a hands-on proposition years ago. “Because the staffs were so much smaller, the head nurse was not only overseeing and supervising, she was another nurse on the floor.”

Sutphin remembered one day when the nurses would have preferred not to be so “hands-on.”

“There was a bomb scare at the hospital in 1969. Bernice (Pearson), then head nurse of the medical surgery unit, called us in and told us, ‘The bomb is supposed to go off at 7:00. So until five to seven, we’re going to search for the bomb.’

“I was only 17 and said, ‘I’m too young to be doing that. I’m going home.’

“Bernice said, ‘No, you’re not.’

“So we all looked for the bomb.”

Nurses did what needed to be done, agreed all four veteran nurses. Foley remembered a time when there was a shootout at a big country music concert in town. “I saw someone was shot, so I started to jump down and help. Bullets were flying. My husband pulled me back and said, ‘You can’t do that!’ ”

Pearson said with a smile, “Yes, Janice was one of those ‘eager’ nurses.”

All four nurses have deep ties to Warrenton. Pearson’s mother, Inez Gray, was also a Fauquier Hospital nurse, when the hospital was located in a house on Waterloo Street. “ ‘Lady Gray,’ everyone called her,” Pearson said. Pearson has been married for 40 years to Raye Pearson, a police officer she met in the ER.

Foley married Charles Foley, who was a prosecutor for the county, then a judge.

Foley said, “One night, when I was pregnant, a drunk gave me a hard time. He was chasing me around the exam room and I had to call for help.

“The next day he told Charles that a nurse beat him up the night before in the ER.

“Charles told him, ‘I heard about you at about 2 in the morning from that very nurse.’ ”

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ill Newborns Can Stay Close to Home with New Nursery Designation

Giving birth is a stressful situation even when all goes smoothly. Add to that an early arrival or medical complication, and the worry quotient is compounded many times.

Ellen Bejger, RN, Fauquier Health’s Family Birthing Center director, said that Fauquier Health is prepared to care for newborns, even when a health care emergency may arise. In December 2012, the hospital was approved for an intermediate care nursery by Virginia’s Department of Health.

The designation means that Fauquier Hospital’s Mars Family Special Care Nursery is able to provide a higher level of care for babies who are born prematurely or with health issues, Bejger explained, “It also means that instead of sending ill newborns to another facility far away from their families, babies can often remain at Fauquier Hospital and receive the care they need.”

The nursery’s medical director and three neonatal nurse practitioners together provide 24/7 oversight for any newborns requiring special care. Additional bedside nurses provide the minute-to-minute care and monitoring.

Neonatal nurse practitioner Helena Brady says, “The monitoring is so important. We have state-of-the-art technology to register babies’ cardiac and respiratory health. And our nurses are able to notice even the most subtle changes immediately.”

Teaming Up with UVA
Fauquier Hospital has a cooperative arrangement with the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center, which operates a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. UVA physicians are consulted in any cases involving premature newborns or those with any kind of medical issues. Instead of automatically being transferred to UVA, many babies are cleared to stay in the Mars Special Care Nursery, under the watchful eyes of the unit’s medical director, pediatrician Maria Juanpere, M.D., the nurse practitioners and the bedside nurses.

A healthy baby born at 35 weeks, for instance, may be able to stay in the Mars Nursery for an extra week to gain some weight, rather than having to travel to VA. Other issues that can keep a newborn in the nursery include respiratory issues or an infection acquired during pregnancy.

Dr. Maria Juanpere, medical director of the Mars Family Special Care Nursery

OB/GYN Thomas Myers, M.D., says he is delighted with the new designation and what it means for his patients. “Take the example of a mother whose newborn needs to stay in the hospital for a few extra days. If she’s got three other kids at home, she can be at Fauquier Hospital in the morning, leave to get her other kids off the school bus, and come back later. If, on the other hand, the baby is sent to another hospital somewhere in Northern Virginia, she has to travel in traffic at 7 a.m. and not be there for her other kids.

“This is great for the siblings too. It’s not as scary for them if they can come and see the new baby. We are glad to be able to keep families together.”

NNP Tina Rindele helped to care for little Adriana Glinka when she stayed in the
Mars Family Special Care Nursery for a few weeks.
Tiny Adriana Brightens Mars Family Special Care Nursery
Michelle Glinka admitted she was scared. At 23, she was scheduled for a cesarean section on December 20 to have her first baby. When 6-pound, 12-ounce Adriana was given to her to hold, her relief was immense. Glinka grinned, remembering, “My mom was up from Florida to be in the delivery room with me, and I heard my mom’s voice and Adriana’s cry at the same time."

But the relief soon turned to worry as Adriana’s breathing became labored. Amniotic fluid in the baby’s lungs caused respiratory difficulties that required oxygen therapy. Toward the end of January, Adriana was still in the Mars Family Special Care Nursery growing and getting stronger, but in need of around-the-clock attention. Glinka said, “The cardiologist said that she has a heart murmur, but it should go away on its own.”

Glinka spent her days, and many nights too, in the nursery with her baby. “Everyone here has been wonderful. They have helped me to feel so comfortable; I was even able to bring in things to make her room here feel more like home.”

Spending so much time with Adriana has allowed Glinka to discover her baby’s emerging personality. She said, “When she wants her food, she wants it now! When she hears someone walk by, she perks up to see if they are going to come in and talk to her. And whenever I leave the room, she knows it.”

The new mom talked about the attentive and caring nurses in the Mars Nursery. “Tina
[neonatal nurse practitioner Tina Rinderle] has been so great about explaining everything carefully and answering all my questions. If Adriana is crying, they all know what to
do. She is getting so much attention.”

Adriana has reached 7 pounds, 10 ounces and is eating and sleeping well. Glinka was happy to bring her home, but parting with the nursery nurses was bittersweet. “I am happy that I have been able to tell my story, to talk about the wonderful nurses here who work so hard and made me feel so comfortable.”
Neonatal Nurse Practitioners: The Key to Exceptional Care When Fauquier Hospital’s Family Birthing Center began developing its intermediate
care nursery, one of the first steps was to find experienced, caring neonatal nurse
practitioners (NNPs) to provide advanced care. The Family Birthing Center now
Meredith Shaw, NNP
employs three fulltime NNPs to care for premature or sick newborns.

NNPs are advanced practice nurses who work with physicians and nursing staff to
provide comprehensive critical care to premature and ill newborns. NNPs also
provide educational programs and support to both nursing and medical staff to assure
that care is up-to-date and based on the best available evidence.

NNPs attend all cesarean section births and any high-risk deliveries. They provide
support to the birthing center nurses, as well as to the families of newborns.NNPs examine patients daily, discuss RN concerns and recommendations related to
the newborns and help develop the plan of care in collaboration with the pediatrician.

Helena Brady, NNP
NNPs also perform procedures to treat and diagnose newborns. NNPs are licensed to
perform umbilical catheterization, lumbar puncture and arterial blood sampling.
It is important for parents to bond with their infants during the first few days and weeks,
but this contact can be more complicated when a child is ill. Fauquier Hospital NNPs
do everything possible to encourage parents to spend time with their babies anytime of
the day or night. Siblings may also visit their baby brother or sister in the nursery.
Tina Rinderle, NNP

NNP Tina Rinderle explained, “We love taking care of our tiny patients, but we care for the families as well. We understand the stress and worry parents go through when their newborn is ill, so we do our best to help ease that concern however we can. Whether it’s answering questions, explaining treatments or just listening, we are here to make this difficult time easier for our parents.”

What’s in a Name?
The Mars Family Special Care Nursery is named in grateful recognition of the donors who have done so much to make it a reality. The Mars Family was among the first to recognize and meet the challenge of providing advanced neonatal care in the community. Their support helped Fauquier Health transform care for our most vulnerable patients.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Essure Permanent Birth Control Explained

Dr. Wesley Hodgson, OB/GYN explains the Essure method of permanent birth control in a new video. Go to, click on physicians and look for Dr. Hodgson.

Essure is safe, effective and unlike surgery, requires no recovery time.   Dr. Hodgson is with Fauquier Health OB/GYN. He can be reached at 540-316-5930.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fauquier Health's Calendar of Events for February

Wednesday, February 6

Complimentary Reiki Sessions

Where: Fauquier Health Wellness Center

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

Details: Appointments required

Register: 540-316-2640

Saturday, February 9

Safe Sitter Babysitter Training

Where: Sycamore Room

When: Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cost: $60

Register: 540-316-3588

Thursday, February 14

Look Good…Feel Better

Where: FBC training room

When: 10 a.m.

Register: 540-667-2315

Saturday, February 16

Complimentary Reiki Sessions

Where: Fauquier Health Wellness Center

When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m..

Details: Appointments required

Register: 540-316-2640

First Aid/CPR/AED (Adult/ Infant and Child)

American Heart Association

Where: Medical Office Building

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: $85

Register: 540-316-3588

Wednesday, February 20

Cardiovascular Disease: Who’s At Risk

Where: Sycamore Room

When: 7 p.m.

Details: Physician lecture with Drs. Michael Escano, Ahsan Jafir, Sheila Khianey and Ara Maranian

Register: 540-316-3588

Monday, February 25

American Red Cross Blood Drive

Where: Sycamore Room

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fauquier Hospital Team Raises Money for Relay for Life

The Fauquier Hospital Infusion Center has once again formed a Relay for Life team to benefit the American Cancer Society. Members are: Judy Bodenschatz, Trenna Larsen, RN, Betty Compton, Pam Jenkins, Chrissy Patterson, RN, Lois Sutphin, RN, and Lisa Mountjoy, RN.

The team's next fundraiser is a spaghetti dinner on Saturday, February 23, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Warrenton Firehouse.

Congressman Robert Hurt Visits Fauquier Hospital

Rodger Baker, CEO and president of Fauquier Health, gives a tour of Fauquier Hospital's Emergency Department to Congressman Robert Hurt, who represents the 5th District of Virginia. Congressman Hurt also visited with staff and diners during the Tuesday evening Senior Supper Club in The Bistro.

Ranelle Merrick is Latest DAISY Award Recipient

Ranelle Merrick, RN

Ranelle Merrick, RN, is Fauquier Health's DAISY Award recipient for this quarter. She was nominated, along with 15 of her peers, for exhibiting compassionate care. All nominees were singled out by patients or patients’ families -- some for a specific generous act and others for consistently thoughtful caregiving.

At the DAISY celebration on Monday, Linda Sharkey, vice president of patient care services and chief nurse exectutive, explained that Ranelle was recognized by one of her patients, who was in ICU with a terminal illness. The patient wrote that he had decided that he wanted to live his last few days in peace. He expressed a desire to feel the sun on his face and the wind in his hair before leaving this earth, and Ranelle took it upon herself to make sure those wishes were honored. She took the patient out during her shifts, and even on her days off.

The DAISY Award is given out quarterly to a Fauquier Health nurse who goes to extraordinary lengths to provide compassionate care.     
Amanda Street, RN
Rebecca Caperton, RN
Lillian Thomas, RN

Nurses Nominated for the DAISY Award  

Tammy Adams, RN -- Nursing Administration

Rebecca Caperton, RN -- Family Birthing Center

Filochi Lozano-Cayton, RN -- Intensive Care Unit

Summer Cornwell, RN -- 3S/3W

Dianna Fanning, RN -- Emergency Department

Monica Fulcher, RN -- Intensive Care Unit

Rebecca Garner, RN -- Third Floor

Ranelle Merrick, RN

Catherine (Deb) Pacilio, RN -- Nursing Administration

Christine Patterson, RN -- Infusion Center

Alesia Schraf, RN -- Third Floor

Dawn Wright Shears, RN -- Third Floor

Beverlyn Silerbauer, RN -- Emergency Department

Amanda Street, RN -- Emergency Department 

Lois Sutphin, RN -- Infusion Center

Team Fauquier Seeks Cyclists for Tour de Cure

Team Fauquier 2012

On February 5, Fauquier Hospital will host kick off events for the Tour de Cure Bike Tour, a 100-mile bike ride that will take place on June 2, in Reston. Team Fauquier, sponsored by Fauquier Hospital, is looking for new team members.

The community is invited to come meet current team members and find out more about the Tour de Cure. The Sycamore Room at Fauquier Hospital will host two meet and greet sessions, from 12 noon to 12:30 p.m. and from 12:45 to 1:15 p.m. The Fauquier Health Wellness Center will host the third, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. the same day. Door prizes and healthy snacks will be available.
The Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 44 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The tour is a fully supported ride, providing food, drinks and first aid at all of the rest stops. It includes routes designed for everyone from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist. Those who ride with Team Fauquier will have access to free expert training and cycling sessions at the Fauquier Health Wellness Center.

Al Maxey is an information systems analyst with Fauquier Health, as well as a personal trainer and cycling enthusiast. He formed Team Fauquier last year and helped to train the 20 participants for the 2012 ride. Anyone who is not able to make one of the kick off sessions is welcome to call Maxey at 540-316-5520 for more information.