Nurses are required to continue education and upgrading of skills to ensure their patients receive the best possible nursing care. Cardiac nursing is a dedicated nursing practice that gives focused and precise nursing interventions, that are governed by the best practice nursing standards using latest research based facts. Nurses need to have good technique and skill when performing health history and physical assessments to enable them to look after the person as a whole. When nursing patients, nurses need to understand the care they give and reasoning of why they deliver the cares in a certain way. A sound knowledge of assessment and observations help nurses plan, initiate and deliver health care. Without knowledge and rationales the nurse may not deliver cares in the correct manner or have the ability to know when to initiate them. Myocardial infarction is a common cause for admission into the Coronary Care Unit and this case study follows cares, rationales and outcomes in this setting.
Mr Smith (synonym for confidentiality) is a retired 58 year old man that was admitted to a Coronary Care Unit (CCU) via the Emergency Department (ED) of the Atherton Hospital. His admission diagnosis was an Anterior ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction (STEMI), which had already been treated with thrombolytic therapy. On the morning of his admission, he drove himself to the ED with chest pain. He presented with left sided chest pain that radiated to his left jaw and left arm which he scored 10/10 and described as “crushing”. He was diaphoretic and hypertensive with nausea and vomiting. An ECG showed sinus bradycardia, rate of 60 bpm with hyperacute T waves in V2-V4, that progressed to ST Elevation. Thrombolytic therapy was administered 1 hour of his presenting to ED and within 2 hours of the initial chest pain that commenced at home. His ST segment was elevated approximately 8mm and continued to increase until 70 minutes post thrombolytic when he had 50% resolution of the ST elevation.
When he presented to the ED he was given oxygen, morphine, anginine, aspirin, clopidigrel and enoxaparin as first line pharmaceutical treatments. He was transferred that afternoon to Townsville. Mr Smith was not managed in Atherton due to the lack of cardiac catheter services and was transferred for a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) the next day where he had a stent placed in his proximal area of his Left Anterior Descending Coronary Artery (LAD). Anterior MI’s affect a large surface of the heart, thrombolytic therapy and PCI are the most effective way to treat them (Evans-Murray, 2008 ).