'I'm MacGyver,' Says Nurse Honored at White House

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, June 24, 2014

She measures, cuts, experiments, figures what works and what doesn't, and works with materials that are often manufactured with adults in mind.

"My daily making consists of skin and wound care prevention, such as cutting up foam to protect against pressure under drains and tubes, crusting with advanced products to create barriers, and teaching other nurses how to make in order to provide continuity of care," she told me by email after our phone interview.

Reyna adds that she has "the support and collaboration of my surgeons and physicians that I work with that allows me to design, create, and make."

Although she has that kind of ongoing support and collaboration at her hospital, much of the making nurses do every day in hospitals across the country goes unnoticed and unheralded. For many nurses, figuring out solutions to patient care problems in this "MacGyver" kind of way is just part of how they do their job.

"It's having to troubleshoot and come up with a solution for the problem," says Reyna. "It's just like the nursing process."

Alexandra Wilson Pecci

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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