Tinley Park resident Pam Alburei is the weekend charge nurse at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital's intensive care unit. | Supplied photo
Updated: July 17, 2013 6:12AM
A Tinley Park woman who works at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital recently was celebrated during National Nurses Week.
Registered nurse Pamela Alburei said working in the intensive care unit can be difficult, but also rewarding.
“A lot of times, you have to kind of separate it in order to do your job,” Alburei said. “You have to focus on the clinical part of the job, getting everything the patient needs medically. But it’s also important to express some compassion for the family, to try to relate to the family.”
Alburei is the weekend charge nurse in the ICU.
“She has absolutely the most positive attitude I have ever seen,” said Maria Suvacarov, the hospital’s nursing director. “There was a day when the intermediate care unit was really busy. All of the sudden, we were getting a lot of admissions. Even though that is not her unit, she went and spent a good part of the day helping out there.”
A nurse for 18 years, the last two at La Grange Memorial Hospital, Alburei takes a great deal of pride in her work, chief nursing officer Mary Murphy said.
“Pam exemplifies some of the most excellent characteristics a nurse can have,” Murphy said. “She works hard, she is knowledgeable, she cares deeply for her patients and she is always willing to step forward and help when needed.”
Alburei sees nursing as a mission. Going to work and taking care of patients is her way of serving God, she said.
“When I was 13, I had a tonsillectomy,” Alburei said. “I remember laying there, my throat was hurting, and I was crying. The nurse was so sweet and nice to me. I think she inspired me.”
Alburei most enjoys focusing on care and knowing all the details she can about her patients. When patients come in very sick and recover, that’s most rewarding, she said. When a patient dies, the unit works with the family to help them with grieving.
Now completing her bachelor’s degree in nursing, Alburei recently received certification as a critical care nurse. She responds to many patient emergencies in her unit, Suvacarov said, and the nurses she works with always say Alburei helps put them at ease, even in emergency situations.
“She always has a smile on her face,” Suvacarov said. “She has the attitude, ‘Yes, we can do it. It will be OK.’ ”
Alburei would like to be a nursing instructor someday.
“I’ve always enjoyed teaching,” she said. “People who are drawn to nursing are really special people. Somebody just needs to guide them, to inspire them.”