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Vallhalla Nurse Gets Patients Home Early

For a patient suffering from a long-term illness, the opportunity to avoid an extended hospital stay for treatment could mean the world.

That's why folks are especially grateful to R.N. Mia Lofgren when they're able to go home a few days early and spend time with friends and family. Lofgren is a specially trained technician of Central Catheters of “PICC” lines in Westchester Medical Center's Department of Radiology, at which she spends her days inserting central venous access devices into a person’s upper arm vein under ultrasound guidance.

She explained that this procedure is a somewhat quicker way to draw blood from some folks, since doctors sometimes have a hard time finding a suitable way to do so using conventional methods.

“There are patients out there who have to have this done and they’re able to come in, get a pick line right away and can go home on an antibiotic,” she said.

Those bedridden for long periods of time as they undergo chemotherapy sessions are also familiar with the lengthy stays that sometimes last for months, making this service especially welcomed.

“We get a lot of appreciation from patients—they say it’s the best thing that’s happened to them in the hospital,” added Lofgren.

This Radiology nurse has been working for the Valhalla-based facility for the past 7 years. In that time, her day-to-day routine is filled with rewards and challenges alike.

She said one of the aspects of her job that keeps it from becoming monotonous is the differentiating qualities of “each arm” that crosses her path. Since all patients have different needs though, a constant change of pace is welcome to keep things interesting.

Her one misfortune is that there are only so many hours in the day to help everyone.

“Sometimes we get more requests than we can handle within a day and it can be trying to get [all patients] done within an eight-hour period,” she added.

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