“Every patient, every time is our nursing motto. You give all attention to that patient and their family. We want to make sure they are getting what they need here, but we also want to make sure they’re prepared to go home. You want to impact their lives after they leave the hospital.”
In her 34 years as a nurse at UK HealthCare, Margie Campbell has impacted tens of thousands of lives—in the hospital, after her patients go home, and, now, before they ever arrive. While she’s worked throughout the hospital, her current role as a Stroke Program Coordinator within the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI) means she’s proactive in educating patients in recognizing and preventing strokes before they happen.
“I started out on the stroke floor, and at that time there were not many options for treatment of patients with a stroke. We took care of getting them ready for rehab and the goal was to make them as functional as possible. Now, there are actual treatments at the time of the stroke that can improve the patient’s prognosis. We are a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and that is the highest certification that there is for stroke.”
A major component of Margie’s role—and of that Comprehensive Stroke Center designation—is education. When it comes to stroke, “time is brain,” as Margie says, and every second counts. Educating the community and UK HealthCare staff about how to recognize a stroke improves response times and patient outcomes.
Since more Kentuckians are learning what a stroke looks like, “we’re seeing people call 911 more,” said Margie. And that’s a good thing. “A lot of times, patients will just go to bed and then we miss our window of what we can do to treat them.”
With Kentucky as the center of the so-called “Stroke Belt,” education and rapid response are vital when it comes to stroke. UK HealthCare’s education, outreach and advanced therapies combine to save lives and prevent future strokes.
“We have rural areas that are skilled in basic stroke care, but may not have the resources needed for finding the source of the stroke. Here at UK, as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, we have advanced testing capabilities to assist with identifying the source of the patient’s stroke and preventive measures for reducing risk of an additional stroke.”
That mission is what drives Margie. Her days start at 4:45 in the morning and she’s at the hospital by a little after 6. She splits her time between staff and education, implementing innovative new procedures for stroke care, and preparing for the upcoming Comprehensive Stroke Center recertification process—but she drops everything when her stroke alert pager goes off, as it does half a dozen times a day.
When that happens, she’s off to the emergency department or an inpatient room in the hospital, helping a Kentuckian with a suspected stroke and implementing the procedures she’s spent decades learning, improving and sharing.
Every patient. Every time.
Find out more about how nurses like Margie care for stroke patients at UK HealthCare’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.