Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Personal Battle - March 2021 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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T he persistent pain above her ribcage made sleeping at night nearly impossible. "My primary care physician dismissed it as a muscular injury that would correct itself," says Angela Hohn, RN, BSN, BS, CNOR, FCN, a perioperative nurse in the Atlanta VA Health Care System. "So did I." In February 2020, after months of agony, Ms. Hohn finally went to the ER, where a CT scan revealed a lesion on her right lung. The next day, a pulmonologist identified the growth as a tumor and suggested it was malignant. A biopsy confirmed stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. Lung cancer? Impossible. Ms. Hohn was an avid runner who had always taken preventative medicine seriously. She'd never smoked, nor lived with anyone who did. "I was very active, vibrant and health-conscious, doing all the right things," says Ms. Hohn. "When I got the diagnosis, I simply didn't believe it." She was so blindsided by the news that she thought her results had been confused with those of another patient. Devastated, she checked in with her primary care physi- cian. "She said, 'Something's not right here," recalls Ms. Hohn. "'You're on top of your health and you live a clean life. Have you ever considered that your cancer was caused by expo- sure to smoke at work?'" The conversation caused Ms. Hohn to reflect on her career. She'd been an OR nurse since 1979, start- ing in England and 2 0 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • M A R C H 2 0 2 1 Breathing Life Into Surgical Smoke Safety A nurse's devastating lung cancer diagnosis inspired an impassioned plea for evacuation legislation. Joe Paone | Senior Associate Editor IMPORTANT CAUSE Angela Hohn wants surgical professionals to understand the dangers of surgical smoke and take steps to protect themselves from harm.

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