Surgical Nursing

Claudia Eike, Head of Surgical Nursing at the German Heart Center Berlin

Over 60 surgical nurses and technical surgical assistants working in our operation tract care for patients before and after their operation and ensure that the surgery goes smoothly. Five practical instructors are responsible for the nurses’ further training and qualification. The surgical program consists of conventional heart and vessel operations as well as endoscopic/minimally invasive procedures and catheter interventions in patients of all ages. Correspondingly, the demands made on the surgical nursing personnel in terms of the use of the surgical instruments are very broad.

The German Heart Center Berlin has its own training center for technical surgical assistants. 
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Surgical Nurse Florentine talking about her Work

Florentine talking about her work

Florentine, a surgical nurse, talking about her work

Florentine used the time of her training and employment at the German Heart Center Berlin as the waiting time for medical studies. She is now studying medicine but still works part-time as a nurgical nurse with us.

One of the positive things about working in the operation rooms is that you don’t know who the patient is. That may sound strange at first. But what I mean is that an anonymous person is placed in our care. Whatever he or she has ever done or whoever they are, it is simply a human being who is there because they need our help – and that’s what we do.

In heart surgery there is always something new, and if you like that and never want to stagnate and always do the same thing, this is the right place to be.

In the beginning I was pleased if I could do small things. But when you’ve been here a bit longer you look forward to the “big” things like a heart transplantation or a lung transplantation or emergencies. A special experience? When we transplant lungs and the donor lung is ventilated for the first time and unfolds – that is just wonderful. You can see just how life returns. I can’t really describe it; you have to have been there. And to be part of the team involved in such a procedure – that is fantastic.

Anesthesia Nurse Thomas Talking About His Work

Anesthesia nurse Thomas talking about his work

"As soon as the patient arrives, we concentrate on calming them and taking away their fears.

We have about ten minutes with the patients before they go to sleep. And that means ten minutes just for the patient. People are lying here quite helpless on the operating table and know that their heart is about to be operated on. And they are alone – without any relatives. Although it is stressful, in this short time we must be right there for people.

In heart surgery there is always something new, so it is always a challenge. The longer you’re here, the better you know what emergencies can happen. You always have to be alert and able to react quickly.

Sometimes you feel like an octopus, with eight arms. After eight hours you’re deadbeat. But the people are absolutely O.K. In an emergency they’re all there straight away. You can rely on them. And that feels good and is the reason why I’m here.”