Cardiovascular Nurse Navigator at Gulf Coast Medical Center

Sommer Hoyt is what's known as a Cardiovascular Nurse Navigator.

"I help them through their whole procedure, it might be a stress test or maybe possibly going to the heart cath. And then also those patients who might have to have open heart surgery - helping them through that as well." says Hoyt.

She's the perfect person for the job, she knows firsthand what it's like to be a heart patient.

"I also have been through the process, I'm a patient myself, my mother died of a heart attack at a young age and my husband had a triple by-pass at a very young age, so I use those experiences to be able to explain the process of knowing what it's like to be in that room, what it's like to lay on that table and have the fears and anxieties."

Hoyt's goal is to educate the patient on what their diagnosis means and inform them of their options.

"Being able to explain to them with empathy and sympathy what's going to happen and educate them and relieve their fears.

She makes sure when a patient leaves the hospital, they know what to expect.

"I talk to them about cholesterol and I talk to them about life style changes because if we're doing intervention in the cath lab where we're having to put a stent in it's because we've not truly fixed your problem, we've masked your problem, but your problem is way deeper than that... we didn't fix you, we just helped you right now. You need to fix yourself and here's how you can do it."

Hoyt also stresses, don't ever be afraid to ask a lot of questions.

The more you know about your condition, the better.

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