VALPARAISO | The Englishman in blue scrubs consulted with a 30-something American woman about to have a combination defibrillator-pacemaker implanted in her heart. She was crying. Her family looked understandably nervous.
Matt Loveitt, 1995 graduate of Bournemouth University near the United Kingdom's Jurassic Coast, tried to defuse their anxiety. Having a breezy demeanor sure seemed to help.
Loveitt, the electrophysiology lab supervisor at Porter Regional Hospital, went over details of the procedure, injecting light humor -- about the comfort of hospital socks, for instance -- to ease the veritable tension in the room.
"Ready to rock and roll? Get it done?" he said. "OK."
He wheeled the patient to the operating area, where he helped set up the equipment and made sure all the supplies were stocked.
He then returned to his "captain's chair" in the monitoring room, which was separated from the surgical space by a glass wall. A nurse came in to tell him the patient was nervous and could use some anxiety medication.
"They don't really want to be in there so we have to make it as comfortable as possible for them," said Loveitt, who was wearing Nike gym shoes, a tattoo on his right arm showing underneath his scrubs.
Once the surgeon arrived, Loveitt (pronounced "love it") called the anesthesiologist to let her know they were ready to go.
A few minutes later, the device reps arrived, followed by the anesthesiologist, who scrubbed up as she finished her lunch. There was a lot of beeping and buzzing and people coming in and out of the lab.
During the procedure, Loveitt juggled phones and computers and clipboards. "It's supposed to be a paperless system, but there's more papers ...," he said at one point.
Perhaps the most tense part of the surgery came when the team induced cardiac arrest in the patient and let the device shock her heart back to life, making sure it worked.
Loveitt is a nurse by trade, though he trained and has long worked in cardiology. He moved to the U.S. from England in the late '90s after hearing the streets here were "paved with gold." He met his future wife in Arizona, where she was visiting her father; the couple eventually decided to settle down in her native northwest Indiana.
He noted that electrophysiology is a great career path for someone who loves technology, since the field uses it to fix the electrical systems of the heart, to, in other words, save lives.
"That's what makes it so exciting," he said.
How I got the job: "Most of my education was in England. I got in between an associate's and bachelor's-type degree over there in nursing. I graduated in about 1995, came to the States in '99, did some travel nursing for long periods of time, before getting married and coming to Indiana in 2005. From there, I've been working in telemetry, some ICU (intensive care unit), before coming to the EP (electrophysiology) lab in 2007, with mainly a cardiac background throughout."
What the job pays: The median pay for a medical and health services manager in 2012 was $88,580 per year, or $42.59 an hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Job growth: The U.S. Department of Labor predicted employment of medical and health services managers would grow by 23 percent, or much faster than the average profession, between 2012 and 2022.