Crystal Makekau


Class of 1994





By Tarynn Nago



Crystal Makekau is a licensed practical nurse and position team leader at the Queens Hospitalís Hilo Specialty Clinic.She assists at least twenty specialty Doctors who come to the clinic from Honolulu to see their Hilo patients.

Crystal became a nurse after she gave birth to her daughter in 2000 and was touched by the compassion and concern that nurses gave their patients.She wanted to be able to provide this same care to others.Crystal graduated from the Hawaii Community Collegeís Nursing program, and worked for a local urologist and pediatrician for the last four years, where she also learned office management skills.

Now that Crystal is working with adults rather than just children, she notices that both may have similar diagnoses, but their treatment plans differ.Children are limited in the types and dosage of medications that can be prescribed.Adults have almost similar treatments, but more types of medications are available and prescriptions may be for longer terms.Children have first year baby checks and require immunizations to help build immunity..

Have you wondered why nurses check your blood pressure and pulse as the first part of a doctorís visit?Crystal says it is to detect any changes from normal values, which may indicate disease, as well as to monitor the effectiveness of the prescribed medication.Blood pressure should be routinely checked every one or two years and should be monitored more closely during illnesses.Measurements can be taken as often as every few minutes.The purpose of obtaining a pulse is to determine that your heart is functioning adequately and allowing blood flow to arteries.

When you go to the doctorís office, sometimes the nurse will swab your throat.This procedure is to test for strep throat, a contagious infection caused by the bacterium, streptococcus pyogenes.Actually, two swabs are done. One is for a rapid strep test that takes approximately five minutes to run in the doctorís office.If the rapid strep test is negative, the other swab is sent to the laboratory for a throat culture.

While Crystal worked at the pediatricianís office, she administered about 25 shots per day.Now that she is working at the Queenís, she does about 1-2 shots per month.

Being a nurse can be overwhelming.She had a patient who threw up in the office and some of the patientís vomit got on her pants.She also had a patient who could not move his legs.She called 911 and had the patient taken to the hospital. The worst experience Crystal had was having a child throw up while swabbing his throat.Also, while administering an injection , the parent let go of the child on his lap and she scratched his arm with a needle instead of giving him a shot.Learning the different vaccines and development measures at the pediatricianís office was so overwhelming that by the third day of the job, she cried at lunch.But, her physician helped her to learn the new procedures.At the specialistsí clinic, she does not see the same patients all the time and misses the familiarity of her regular pediatric visitors.

A graduate of the class of 1994, she remembers the great teachers and being a cheerleader at all the sporting events.

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