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Nursing News HighlightsReal Nurses Real Stories

Is There a Nurse in the House?

Park bench illuminated by light at night
Medical emergencies can happen at any time. For trauma nurse Julie Stroyne Nixon, RN, BSN, her wedding night was about more than her wedding, it was about saving a life. Walking to her wedding after-party with her husband Andrew Nixon, the bride saw an unconscious woman lying on a bench nearby. Bystanders were calling for help and Stroyne, still in her wedding gown, ran to help.

Medical emergencies can happen at any time. For trauma nurse Julie Stroyne Nixon, RN, BSN, her wedding night was about more than her wedding, it was about saving a life. Walking to her wedding after-party with her husband Andrew Nixon, the bride saw an unconscious woman lying on a bench nearby. Bystanders were calling for help and Stroyne, still in her wedding gown, ran to help.

“I threw my purse on the bench next to her and started my assessment,” said Stroyne Nixon. “I originally started compressions because I had heard someone say that she did not have a pulse. However, when I stopped and felt for a pulse, she did indeed have a weak, but steady pulse. I then checked her respiratory status, and she was breathing very faintly, but it grew stronger as the seconds went on.  I then tried to arouse her by shaking her shoulders and she finally started to come to.”

NN: How did your nursing training and code of ethics help you in this situation? 

Julie: I work on a trauma floor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Penn., so I am used to acting in a crisis. I think that any nurse who was in my situation would have done the exact same thing. 

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