Elmore manages nurses at MICU

Published 2:44 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Terry Elmore is the nurse manager of the medical intensive care unit (MICU) at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital, a position he has held since 2002.

Much of his job involves overseeing the needs of the MICU, from staffing and supplies to the office paperwork.

“My No. 1 job is to take care of patients,” he said. “I also take care of the routine paperwork, balancing the budget and tending to supplies.”

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Patients brought to the MICU need more specific care than regular patients at the hospital, and it falls on Elmore to make sure they get that.

“We see a variety of patients here,” he said. “We have post-operative patients, we have orthopedic patients, patients with diabetes or coronary disease, congestive heart failure — just a variety of any type of patient that requires the attention of a medical intensive care unit.

“For the most part, patients are brought here because of the level of care they need. Sometimes, a doctor will want a patient monitored closely because his blood pressure is up or he’s having chest pains. For the post-operative patients, the blood pressure may be a little low or they just need close monitoring.”

The Whitfield MICU has two or three nurses on each shift, with a total of 15 nurses on staff.

“The floor nurses take care of their patients just as well as we do,” he said. “Very often, we take care of the same kinds of people.”

Elmore, a registered nurse himself, said the MICU nurses are required to have an Alabama license, advanced cardiac life support training and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation training along with cardiac monitor training, telemetry strips training and training with handling the drugs used in MICU.

Elmore said that nursing is more of a calling than a vocation, that it is something that drives within a person to do.

“You’ve got to be called to nursing,” he said. “I feel that you don’t just say, ‘Oh, I’m going to be a nurse tomorrow’ and go to school and be a nurse. You’re born a nurse, I think, and it shows in the way you treat patients. You have that inborn knack for taking care of people.”

Elmore has been a nurse since 1988, spending almost that entire time in Demopolis. He worked in the emergency room for about 12 years before moving up to the MICU in 2001.

Patients brought to the MICU at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital require a special level of care, and with Terry Elmore serving as the nurse manager for the MICU, he makes sure that they get it.