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Nurse Morgan Etheridge on the coronary care unit.

A Critical Calling
Nursing practice at its best on a busy intensive care unit

It’s just before 7 in the morning, and here on the coronary care unit on Nelson 5, nurses are huddled in pairs around computer monitors, intently reviewing how patients fared during the last 12 hours. It’s morning report, a time when nurses on the nightshift transfer their patients to their daytime counterparts.

“We had to intubate one lady in Room 24,” nurse Andrea Redman is telling daytime nurse Morgan Etheridge, clicking through pages of lab stats, vitals, med lists, assessments and protocols. “She was anxious, depressed and uncomfortable.”

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