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Why Doylestown Hospital Is Like Home To This Experienced Caregiver

Friday, May 09, 2014

Doylestown Hospital celebrates our amazing nurses during National Nurses Week

Earlier this week, we got to know a nurse who recently started her career at Doylestown Hospital. Today, we meet a nurse who has more than three decades of experience; Sharon Pruchnic, RN Nurse, Critical Care Unit.

Sharon Pruchnic grew up in Trevose and started volunteering as a candy striper at Holy Redeemer Hospital when she was 13 years old. She knew at a very young age she wanted to become a nurse. Back then, she says, there weren't as many career opportunities for women; nursing and teaching were the main choices.

Sharon graduated from the Coatesville School of Nursing in 1977. Her first job out of nursing school was at Lower Bucks Hospital. She worked on a medical-surgical unit for two years before transferring to the critical care unit, where she worked for the next 12 years.

Sharon said critical care nursing, with its intensive monitoring and precise details, is a good fit for her, as she likes having control over situations and "having all my ducks in a row."

Sharon joined Doylestown Hospital in 1991 and has remained on the 14-bed critical/intensive care unit ever since.

Changing Landscape of Medicine

Sharon has seen "big changes in every aspect of medicine" over the past 36 years. She remembers caring for heart attack patients who were on bed rest for five days, and on a liquid diet. Today, most heart attack patients are in the hospital for two days and often are up and about shortly after their catheterization procedure, if done through the wrist.

Years ago, nurses would use handwritten "medicine cards" to keep track of a patient's medications. Doylestown Hospital uses a computerized provider order entry (CPOE), which allows medical staff to record medication orders and other physician instructions electronically.

"Technology, pharmacology, surgical interventions -- they've all changed dramatically over the years," says Sharon. "I think medicine is much safer now due to technology."

Home Away from Home

Some things have stayed the same, however. "The reason you got into nursing stays the same," Sharon says. "And working in critical care does make you appreciate life more, how fragile life is."

Sharon has worked with many of the same "talented" co-workers for many years. "This group is a particularly great group of people. We share the same philosophy; to improve patient outcomes and support the families."

When she first started working in critical care, Sharon would sometimes be bothered by the intensity of the cases. "Now that I'm more mature, it's easier to handle," says Sharon. "Certain situations can be quite stressful, but there is a comfort in the familiarity. This is my home. I feel comfortable here. It's what I'm used to."

Nursing as a Career

Sharon says she would definitely recommend nursing as a career – to the right person. "If you are a caring individual, I think medicine is a great place to work, and nursing is a great job."

She recommends volunteering in a healthcare setting to see if you really like the field. Nursing has been good to Sharon, who says the flexibility allowed her to raise and be a good mom to her daughter.

Sharon says she might retire in 2020, but she plans to spend the remainder of her career at Doylestown Hospital. "I have always felt very welcome and accepted here. I've always had phenomenal co-workers. It's just a nice place to work."

About Doylestown Health

Doylestown Health is a comprehensive healthcare system of inpatient, outpatient and wellness education services connected to meet the health needs of all members of the  local and regional community. Doylestown Hospital, the flagship to Doylestown Health has 232 beds and a Medical Staff of more than 435 physicians in over 50 specialties. An independent nonprofit health system, Doylestown Health is dedicated to providing innovative, patient-centered care for all ages.

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