Claire Howard, arrhythmia nurse, Mater Private Hospital, Dublin 5.40am The alarm goes off and I’m up and out the door by 6am. I live in Meath and commute by bus, which drops me at the door of the Mater. It’s a 40-minute trip. 7am We have a multidisciplinary team meeting early Thursday mornings where we discuss complex cases. We have five arrhythmia doctors, otherwise known as consultant electrophysiologists. Arrhythmia means an irregular heartbeat. There are different forms of arrhythmia, the most common being atrial fibrillation. It causes the upper chambers of the heart to contract abnormally. Symptoms include palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness. 8.30am I review my emails and the inpatient list to see who I need to check in on — generally, it’s patients who are pre or post procedures such as cardiac ablation. This involves threading a catheter from groin to the heart to correct incorrect electric signals that are causing an abnormal heartbeat. Patients can find the prospect daunting, so a big part of my role is educating and supporting beforehand and making them aware of how they should feel after the procedure.