Associate Membership News

Nurses in Cardiothoracic Surgery

STS News, Summer 2012 -- Nurses play an integral role on the cardiothoracic surgical team. Recognizing the importance of an interdisciplinary team, the Society offers Associate Membership to physician assistants, perfusionists, nurses, nurse practitioners, practice administrators, data managers and other health care professionals who support and work directly with cardiothoracic surgeons. Since 2006, Associate Membership has grown to more than 300, with nurses making up one-third of the membership category.

Elizabeth Hupp, RN, a nurse clinician at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va., became an STS Associate Member in 2011. Hupp first heard of STS Associate Membership through STS Past President Gordon F. Murray, MD, with whom she worked for 20 years. Kelly C. Gustafson, a perfusionist at West Virginia University, influenced Hupp’s decision to become a member.

Hupp described the important role STS Associate Membership has played in her career as a nurse. “The value I find in Associate Membership is networking with other ancillary personnel in the field of cardiac surgery, as well as the updates on the workings of the Society itself,” said Hupp. “Having a subscription to The Annals of Thoracic Surgery is also helpful to keep abreast of the latest publications related to cardiothoracic surgery as a whole.”

During her 40 years as a nurse, 28 of which have been dedicated to cardiothoracic surgery, Hupp has supported patients and their families preoperatively and through their hospital stay. Along with her team, Hupp guided the establishment of updated protocols in the beginning days of the “fast track” to reduce ICU and intubation times, as well as postoperative length of stay.

Sylvia Laudun, RN, MBA is an STS Associate Member who works as a clinic application systems analyst at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. She has been a data manager for six years, coordinating the Center’s participation in the STS National Database.

Laudun explained that she became an Associate Member because she is invested in finding a stronger nursing voice within the field of cardiothoracic surgery and finds it vital to be part of an organization that is focused on the specialty. She also values the important networking opportunities that membership provides with other nurses.

An Associate Member since 2009, Laudun often attends Advances in Quality & Outcomes (AQO): A Data Managers Meeting. It was at an AQO conference where she met Kathleen Morrow, RN, MPH, of Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Miss. Laudun said: “It was a thrill to find another data manager so that I could ask questions and get advice on the Database. … It took a little time, but we started the Gulf States regional group for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.”