Nurse Pat Failey: Three decades of Transplant Care


Pat Failey doesn’t mix words when she talks about the changes she has seen in healthcare. “It’s like going from kerosene lanterns to electric lights,” said Failey, who turns 63 this month.

In the early part of her career, patients remained hospitalized sometimes up to 10 days. Part of the nursing care involved sticking the patient’s pills to paper to help them learn each medication and when to take it. Now, kidney transplant patients can be discharged anywhere from four to seven days, said Failey, who came to IU Health in 1988 – the same year the first kidney and pancreas transplants were performed. The first intestine transplant followed in 2003.

A 1974 graduate of the Indianapolis School of Practical Nursing and Marian University, Failey remembers patients coming to the kidney clinic at the former Robert Long Hospital on West Michigan Street.

“We used to go to Long to see them and we had long flow sheets that hung outside the patient’s room,” said Failey. In 1977, Clarian Health integrated operations of Riley and Indiana University Hospitals along with Methodist. And in 2011, Failey was on board when Clarian was renamed IU Health.

Working for one of the leading transplant hospitals in the nation means Failey is part of a reputable team – caring for more than 500 transplant patients a year. It also means she is setting the stage for new team members. She is among one of the first group of nurses to accomplish transplant nurse certification.

Here are a few more things about Failey: Continue reading

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