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Meet Marie

by Lux Joseph 6. September 2013
CME's headquarters is located in Boca Raton, Florida. One of our senior nurses, Marie, is based out of South Florida and has been with CME for over three years. Patient care is Marie's top priority as it is with all of our nurses. Even in the most unfortunate circumstances, Marie will find a way to make you feel comfortable and at ease. Here is some insight into Marie during a recent interview: 
What is your most enjoyable part of this job? 
The best part of working as a nurse for Commercial Medical Escorts has to be the appreciation from the patients and family. Many times I have walked into a hospital or hotel room in a foreign country and I see instant relief on the patient's face because they are finally going home. One particular instance I can remember is a patient who had a stroke in Rome. He was in the hospital for a week, unable to communicate verbally and unable to understand the Italian language. Not only was it frustrating for him with his new physical and speech limitations, being in a foreign country made it much scarier for him.

Where did you gain your experience and knowledge in the field of nursing? What area's of expertise do you have experience in?
I graduated Summa Cum Laude from FAU's College of Nursing in 2000. I went to work in a local hospital Intensive Care Unit for a year, then was recruited to work in the Open Heart Surgery Unit. I worked in that field for approximately 8 years learning how all the body systems work in depth. These systems included neurological, pulmonary, cardiovascular, and endocrine. My patients were very critical and I learned to operate ventilators, balloon pumps, dialysis machines, and how to manage several different IV drugs at once for optimal effect. Working side by side with cardiothoracic surgeons we learned how to read chest xrays and work as a team to achieve the best patient outcomes.
What has been your most interesting transport? Why is that? 
The most interesting and the most challenging was a repatriation of a Mexican citizen that was here illegally. That transport ironically happened on July 4, 2009. He was robbed and suffered a gunshot wound to the head, causing paralysis on one side of his body. Although our communication attempts were poor, I quickly understood that he was suffering from severe muscular spasms from being bedridden for so long. I had nothing to give him---no one ever predicted this. I eventually took him to the clinic in the Mexico City airport to be seen by a physician where they were able to medicate him to get him to Veracruz, his hometown. His wife and mother and a large number of family members where there when we landed and it was very sad to see the families devastation when they saw him for the first time.  
When you are not flying what do you do? 
I take care of my awesome 10 year old daughter, Jenna. She is an avid horseback rider so I really enjoy taking her to lessons and watching her ride. I also own and manage a jewelry business out of my house.  
What would you tell future clients of CME? 
That you can trust CME to take care of every detail. The staff at CME is top notch, young and energetic, not missing one detail. They go above and beyond for their customers working as a team to ensure not only the most efficient but comfortable transport home. 
As a nurse I can tell you that we do more than just get you home. I am your travel advocate through check in and security, I keep you organized and I manage your Passport and customs forms. I manage your medications, monitor whatever condition you developed while away, and I try to keep the last part of your journey home as comfortable as possible offering emotional support, humor if you need it, and lots of reassuring and healing touches.  
Please describe a difficult trip and the outcome of it? 
The most difficult trip was a transport from San Juan, PR to Chicago. My patient was in her 40's with a history of COPD from years of tobacco abuse and she was hospitalized with Congestive Heart Failure and pneumonia. The hospital that the patient was currently at was below standards and very poor quality. It was dirty, sheets were soiled for days, bathrooms without soap or toilet paper, trash cans overflowing.....not what I would have expected. I assessed my patient, she was begging to leave. I found that she was fit to fly and escorted her and her husband to the car waiting outside for us. Everything went smoothly until we reached 30,000 feet or so. She went into flash pulmonary edema and she didn't respond to any of my treatments. I had to fight to get the stewardess to understand how serious my patient's situation was until a physician on board agreed with me that she needed to get to a hospital stat. We landed in Miami (on superbowl night, mind you) and got her to the nearest hospital. That emergency landing saved her life. 

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