As a nurse you are important in the development of care where the patient is the main focus. For us it means that we want to make health care better. Every day. In large and in small. In every meeting.
Aristea Bergström was born in Volos, Greece and has lived most of her life in Sweden. For the past 25 years she has worked as a surgical nurse. "Providing advanced care and keeping patients under complete observation suits me perfectly" she says.
At the Surgical Clinic of Sunderby Hospital in northern Sweden, the staff work in teams which usually consist of three people - a surgical nurse, an anaesthetics nurse and an orderly. The team works together all day along, with one or serveral surgeons. "It's important that the surgical nurse is a team-player. We're dependent on each other".
Being a surgical nurse
As a surgical nurse she takes care of the patient before as well as during the operation. She makes sure that the patient is informed about the surgical procedure in advance, she cleans and clothes the patient in the required manner and ensures that all the necessary instruments are in the right place. The surgeon and Aristea then carry out the operation together, where she is responsible for sterility, the instruments and apparatus, and to dress wounds. After the operation she pass along the patient to the recovery room, making sure that the surgeon's orders go with them. "Concentrating on one patient at a time is one of the best things about my job", she says.
There are constant new developments in the field of surgery. Staff have to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in equipment and methods, therefore training and education are very important.
Sunderby hospital was built in 1999. As early as the planning and construction stage, the staff had a say in the design and layout of the hospital. "One feature I like are the large windows in the operating rooms. It's nice to see daylight and the landscape outside even while we're operating".
Normal working hours are 07.00-16.00. During this time, both planned and emergency operations are carried out. Outside normal working hours, only emergency surgery is performed.
In the spare time
Aristea Bergström now lives in Boden, about twenty minutes by car from the hospital. She has two children and is very happy with both the child day-care and the Swedish school system. After school and working hours there are plenty of organisations, clubs and societies to join. One of Aristea's children plays football while the other one does individual sports. "Whatever you want to do, there's a club or society for it. In Sweden nobody needs to sit at home alone. It's easy to become part of the community".
There are also plenty of wide-open spaces and wilderness in northern Sweden. You can go hiking on the inland mountains in both winter and summer. The coast is a splendid area for sea-bathing and in winter the water is covered by a thick layer of ice. "In winter, lots of people go out onto the sea ice just to take a walk or have a picnic. It's incredibly beautiful", says Aristea.