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Cardiac nurse speaks “From the Heart”

March 8, 2013

Your Personal Trainer:
Olivia C. Rossi,
Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, ACSM

I’ve been a nurse since 1973. Most of you know me as “Your Personal Trainer.” I work in Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation. I help people recover from heart problems—heart attacks, by-pass surgery, stents, valve replacements. I also work with pulmonary rehabilitation patients, people with lung problems—emphysema, asthma, and those whose only hope is a lung transplant. Exercise is a big part of my job.

The other day I was reminded of another big part of my job—why I became a nurse in the first place . . .

It started in my heart. That day it was another woman’s heart that touched mine. Hers was in trouble. She was hurting. She was scared. She had the “elephant on her chest” kind of pain— a burning, crushing pressure in the center of her chest that spread up to her jaw and squeezed out her tears.

We did all the right stuff—the oxygen, the nitroglycerin under her tongue—five minutes apart—three times, the EKG, the trip to the emergency room on the gurney . . .
What do I remember? She put her head on my shoulder. She held my hand. She said “Thank you.”

That’s why I’m a nurse—that’s what would matter to me if I was that woman and my heart was hurting . . .

Yours in fitness,

Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN
Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, ACSM
Certified Personal Trainer, ACSM

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