Nurse Delivers Baby In Parking Lot… Then Saves His Life Again

Nurse Delivers Baby In Parking Lot… Then Saves His Life Again

Nurse Delivers Baby In Parking Lot… Then Saves His Life Again

Nurse Delivers Baby In Parking Lot… Then Saves His Life Again

As a trauma nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, nurse Steven Welton has seen many things… but what he was asked to do earlier this December still came as a huge surprise. Steven’s mother Chris Biesemeier, who also works at VUMC, was the first to notice a man frantically trying to get help for his wife—who was still outside in the backseat of their car—and quickly let her son know. Steven headed out, unsure of what to expect.

There in the backseat of the car was a crying toddler, an expectant mother, and a newborn baby already in the process of being born. Welton immediately jumped into action.

“It’s kind of fuzzy at this point because adrenaline was pumping,” Welton told Nashville’s Fox 17. “But the baby looked to be about halfway out so I grabbed him, pulled him the rest of the way, and I could see the umbilical cord and everything. No gloves. I’m just out there in it!”

But delivering the baby turned out to be only half the challenge. As the baby fully emerged, Welton quickly noticed that the child was blue, not crying, and wasn’t drawing that crucial first breath. Training kicked in, and Welton began compressions.

“I immediately could tell he was blue and not doing anything,” Welton said. “He wasn’t moving, wasn’t crying. I just said I gotta start compressions and held him in my hand and started doing it, about two minutes of solid compressions.”

Those two minutes of compressions turned out to be exactly the right decision. Baby Elijah finally took his first breath just as his father arrived back at the car.

“I’m thinking ‘oh my goodness’ and he had a smile on his face,” Welton said. “I think because he was happy things were getting better, and in my mind I was like ‘Man, you have no idea what just happened.’”

Mother and son were quickly transported into the hospital and both are doing well, thanks to the quick thinking and immediate action of nurse Steven Welton—yet another in a long line of heroes in scrubs.

And if you are ever put in a situation where you have to help deliver a baby who’s determined to show up earlier than expected, the experts at VeryWell.com have a few tips:

  • Call 911, the doctor, or the midwife even if you won’t make it to them on time. They can at least begin making important preparations.
  • Remind Mom to pant and to push gently—push only with the contractions.
  • Support the head as the baby emerges.
  • Don’t pull! Let the baby and her mother’s body do the work.
  • Don’t cut the cord! It’s better for both mother and child if the cord stays attached until reaching the hospital.
  • Wipe the fluid from the baby’s nose to help him breathe.
  • Let Mom hold her newborn – As soon as the baby is born, hand her to her mother for skin-to-skin contact with the head “slightly lower than the body” to help with drainage. If you have clean blankets or towels available, cover the two.

If you would like to begin your own training to become a nurse or medical assistant, contact Unitek College for information on our many courses, schedules, and to find a campus near you.

In Harm’s Way: Nurses Fight Back Against California Wildfires

In Harm’s Way: Nurses Fight Back Against California Wildfires

In Harm’s Way: Nurses Fight Back Against California Wildfires

In Harm’s Way: Nurses Fight Back Against California Wildfires

California is no stranger to wildfires, but this year has been tougher than most. October saw over $9 billion in damage to Northern California as fire raged over 245,000 acres, and this month’s wildfires in Southern California are keeping pace. As of today, over 181,000 acres have been consumed, with over 210,000 residents forced from their homes. A state of emergency was recently declared for the entire state, and the fire is now considered the fifth worst in the state’s history.

And as is the case in nearly all emergencies, nurses are at the center of the chaos—treating existing patients and new fire victims even as flames threaten their own homes and hospitals. Nurses such as Julayne Smithson, a 55-year old ICU nurse in Santa Rosa, who was working the overnight shift when the fires arrived.

Julayne was so busy with her patients that she’d paid little attention to the fire’s location, and was completely caught off guard by how close the flames had gotten. “One of the nurses came up to me and she said, ‘Julayne, I’m sorry, but your house is not going to make it,'” Julayne recounts. She’d only purchased the house in the past weeks, and hadn’t finalized the insurance arrangements yet.

“I was so busy working the last couple of weeks that I didn’t get my insurance, which I never do. I never ever, ever go uninsured,” she says. “I kept saying, ‘Tomorrow, I’m going to do that. Tomorrow, I’m going to do that.'”

With only minutes to spare, Julayne rushed home to save what she could. Faced with a crucial decision, she ultimately decided to save those few things with which she could make the biggest difference: her nursing supplies. She escaped with her scrubs, her nursing documents, and a nightgown. A short time later, she was back at work in the ICU as her neighborhood burned. But the fire wasn’t finished with her yet. Two hours later, the fire suddenly changed direction, and the hospital was ordered to evacuate.

“A lot of nurses and staff were putting patients in their cars and driving them to the hospital,” Julayne told NPR. “And then other people were carrying people on blankets, people who couldn’t walk, and putting them in cars.”

(For more information on the Santa Rosa hospital, check out this video by NBC News.)

But even the hospitals untouched by fires have been impacted. Doctors and nurses across the area have not only taken responsibility for evacuated patients, but have seen a significant number of fire-related injuries and conditions come through their doors as well—particularly asthma and other lung or breathing problems caused by smoke and air pollution. Air purifiers and “closed door” policies are now in place at many hospitals, in an attempt to keep the air inside as pure as possible, and the evolving situation has caused staff shortages in some areas.

One hospital was even forced to rely on generator power after the fires caused blackouts.

“Santa Paula Hospital, which is just miles from the original start point for the Thomas fire, remained opened throughout the evolving disaster, in large part due to the courage and coordination of the hospital staff and efforts of fire rescuers from state, county and local battalions,” said spokesperson Sheila Murphy.

Another hospital, Vista Del Mar Psychiatric, wasn’t so lucky. While the patients and employees were unharmed, the wildfire completely destroyed the building.

It’s a frightening situation for all involved, but as in all difficult times, local doctors and nurses have proven again that they don’t give up without a fight. And if you’d like to help in that fight (and in the recovery), there are many ways to do so. One way is by donating to the local Red Cross (you can find more information here) or by volunteering to help the Red Cross with relief efforts (by clicking here). But be careful… multiple scams have already surfaced seeking to intercept donations before they reach victims. The Ventura sheriff recently addressed the issue, and has a very helpful list of tips for avoiding criminals here.

“Makes me want to be able to go out there and help people,” explains nurse Jody Pinion, a nurse from Charlotte, NC who flew to California with the Red Cross to help at area shelters. “It’s why I do what I do.”

If you’d like more information on beginning your own career as a nurse or medical assistant, contact Unitek College today.

Atlanta Nurse Delivers Baby In Target Store

Atlanta Nurse Delivers Baby In Target Store

Atlanta Nurse Delivers Baby In Target Store

Atlanta Nurse Delivers Baby In Target Store

Given the right information, science can often predict to the day when a new baby will arrive. But then there are those babies who couldn’t care less about due dates, and when they decide it’s time… then it’s time.

Such was the case for Tanya St. Preux, an Atlanta woman who had just decided to make a quick stop at a nearby Target store. As she moved through the aisles, she began feeling her contractions increase in frequency and intensity. She discounted the discomfort and pain at first, deciding to finish her shopping trip before getting checked out by her doctor. But as Tanya quickly realized, the contractions weren’t going away, and labor was about to begin.

Tanya’s situation could have quickly become a nightmare were it not for Caris Lockwood, a local labor and delivery nurse who just happened to be shopping with her mom at the same store that day. Lisa Bozeman (Caris’s mother) was the first to spot Tanya, and quickly noticed that the pregnant woman was in pain. Caris was soon called over, and that’s when things kicked into high gear.

“We urged her friend to go ahead and bring the car to the entrance and we were helping her to the car. Her contractions and pain were increasing as we walked with her to the car,” Lisa said. “Just when we got outside the store her water broke.”

With the hospital no longer an option, Caris took over. As they still outside the entrance to Target, she was able to quickly gather everything she needed—towels and sterile gloves. Moments later, she delivered a healthy 7 pound, 10 ounce baby boy.

“Caris was God-sent and amazing. She was sweet and caring and exceeded everyone’s expectations. She went way over far and beyond,” Tanya told Piedmont Healthcare, the hospital where Caris is employed.

And Caris wasn’t the only nurse who got involved. An emergency room nurse and an NICU nurse also happened to be shopping that day, and both quickly offered their assistance and expertise

Her story (posted to the Piedmont Healthcare Facebook page) has quickly gone viral, with over 8,000 likes and nearly 500 shares. Among the many comments were dozens from former patients, all praising Caris for her heroism and recounting the ways she’d helped them as a labor and delivery nurse.

One commenter, Natalie Crawford, writes “Caris is one of the best nurses and people I have ever met! She is a pleasure to work with and truly loves all her patients. If anyone is going to deliver a baby in a parking lot she’s the one to do it!”

Another (Liz Johnson) shares “Caris was one of my AMAZING Labor and delivery nurses and Piedmont and I couldn’t agree more!”

So a big congratulations to Tanya on the birth of a healthy son, and a big thank you to Caris Lockwood (and the two nurses who assisted) for being ready, willing, and able the moment your help was needed. If you’d like information on beginning your own health care training, contact Unitek College today for more details on our many nursing programs and medical assistant programs.

Nurses Emerge As Heroes

Nurses Emerge As Heroes In Las Vegas Violence

Nurses Emerge As Heroes

Nurses Emerge As Heroes In Las Vegas Violence

The past weekend’s attack in Las Vegas dominated headlines this week, as investigators struggled to piece together a motive for the shooting that claimed 59 lives and injured nearly 500 more. And outside Las Vegas, the nation reeled as it came to grips with the horrors that had unfolded.

But as the chaos slowly faded, stories began emerging—stories of those in the line of fire (many of them nurses) who risked everything for the strangers around them. And in the hospitals and trauma centers around the city, nurses stepped up to save as many lives as they could.

Amber Ratto, a paramedic, recalled driving back onto the concert grounds following the shooting, not yet sure whether the violence had ended, but knowing there were too many victims to stay put. “I turned off the lights in the back of the ambulance to not be targets,” she recounts. She and her crew then worked to triage the victims—treating the wounded, and placing blankets over the dead.

Among those helping was a nurse identified only as Vanessa, who told local news station KTNV why she left safety to return to the danger zone. “We went back because I’m a nurse and I just felt that I had to,” she explained. “I went to three different scenes. The first one was OK. The second one was worse. And by the time I got to the third one, there was just dead bodies…”

But even in the middle of tragedy, Vanessa recognized the extraordinary effort happening around her. “There was so many people, just normal citizens, doctors, cops, paramedics, nurses, just off-duty,” she said. “Everyone was just communicating and working together. It was completely horrible, but it was absolutely amazing to see all of those people come together.”

Nurses weren’t immune to the attack, of course. One 43-year old nurse, Natalie Vanderstay, was hit by gunfire during the attack. However, despite fear and shock, her training kicked in, and she managed to treat her own gunshot wound before being taken to a trauma center by a cab driver.

In the hospitals, shooting victims began arriving any way that they could—by car, taxi, ambulance, or truck—and every nurse available was called in to help. One nurse, Toni Mullan, returned to the hospital immediately following her 12-hour shift to help treat patients alongside her daughter, a trauma nurse at the same hospital.

“The minute I got there, I looked at the situation and said ‘How am I going to utilize my resources?’ ” Ms. Mullan tells the New York Times. By the end of the night, 104 patients had arrived. The situation may have looked chaotic to anyone looking in from the outside, Toni explained, but in actuality, much was being accomplished. At one point, five trauma patients were being “clocked in” simultaneously. And even the patients who did not have life-threatening injuries were treated quickly by doctors.

“I’ve been a nurse for 30 years, and this was by far the worst moment I’ve had, the worst injuries,” she said. “But it was the proudest moment.”

Another first-hand account of what went on in the Las Vegas hospitals can be seen here, along with video of the response.

Ratto, the paramedic, said she was still processing the horror but felt proud. “So many died but we saved so many. I feel lucky. I have the best co-workers in the entire world.”

If you’d like to help victims of the Las Vegas attacks, CNN has listed several resources here. And if you’d like more information about beginning your own nursing training, contact Unitek College today.

 

Better Leader in Nursing

Five Ways To Be A Better Leader In Nursing

Better Leader in Nursing

Five Ways To Be A Better Leader In Nursing

The world needs good leaders, and the world of heath care is no different. When you first put on your scrubs and begin your first years of nursing, you’ll more than likely be surrounded by capable leaders—nurses, doctors, and administrators who either by title or seniority have risen to roles of responsibility and will be vital in helping you navigate those extra-complicated days.

There’s also a good chance that you will be asked to lead in some capacity at some point in your career—a big honor, but also a big responsibility—and there are a few key points you’ll want to keep in mind to keep you and your team on track.

  1. Stick To The Classics – Leadership responsibilities may vary from career to career, but leadership traits tend to stay the same. Forbes has a great list of ten leadership qualities that apply to any and all industries—including healthcare. For example, setting the bar high for yourself in terms of honesty and ethics, learning how to delegate, and projecting confidence and positivity even when the days get tough. Of course, to do those things, you’ll need an extra strong dose of…
  2. Good Communication – You can have all the positivity, experience, knowledge, and management theory in the world, but if you can’t share those things effectively with your team, they won’t do you much good. The better you are at communicating (to patients, to other management, and to co-workers), the better you’ll be at leading. And communicating is more than just sharing your thoughts, by the way. Being a good listener is the essential second half of the skill.

 

  1. Build More Leaders – No leader, no matter how good they are, can do everything on their own. You need a team you can rely on, and that means developing new leaders within it. American Nurse Today suggests that you “Identify your informal and formal leaders and invest in them. Take them to meetings with you; have them provide presentations to the staff and senior-level leaders. Find opportunities to highlight their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Train them to be the next leaders.”

 

  1. Take Care Of Yourself – If you’re in a position of leadership, it’s probably because you’ve shown a passion for what you do, and now that you have more responsibility, you’ll be even more driven to succeed. This is wonderful, but don’t let that drive burn you out. “Remember to take care of yourself by eating well, sleeping enough, and exercising ,” advises Susan Hassmiller (PhD, RN, FAAN). “You need to be strong physically, emotionally, and spiritually to best take care of others and to model wellness for the people you serve.”

 

  1. Never Stop Learning – A good leader is always learning, and knows that he or she can learn from anyone—patient, co-worker, professor, or the nurse on the first shift of her career. “Technology and the profession continues to grow and expand,” writes Jacqueline Cole of the American Associations of Managed Care Nurses. “You are the resource for the lives you touch. To be the most effective and greatest resource for each patient is to keep your knowledge fresh.”

 

Not sure if you’re destined to manage or climb the hospital ladder? Keep these tips in mind anyway.

“Title aside, all nurses are called to leadership,” writes Eileen Williamson for Nurse.com. “The call to leadership moves all of us to a higher plane of responsibility and accountability, with or without a management title; it is inherent in all nursing positions from staff nurse to CEO. We all have similar goals and responsibilities for patient care.”

In a nutshell? If you care about your patients, care about your co-workers, and are willing to set an example by your own actions, then you’ve got what it takes to lead.

For more information on starting a career in health care, contact Unitek College today for information on our many available nursing and medical assistant programs.

When you first put on your scrubs and begin your first years of nursing, you’ll more than likely be surrounded by capable leaders—nurses, doctors, and administrators who either by title or seniority have risen to roles of responsibility and will be vital in helping you navigate those extra-complicated days.

There’s also a good chance that you will be asked to lead in some capacity at some point in your career—a big honor, but also a big responsibility—and there are a few key points you’ll want to keep in mind to keep you and your team on track.

  1. Stick To The Classics – Leadership responsibilities may vary from career to career, but leadership traits tend to stay the same. Forbes has a great list of ten leadership qualities that apply to any and all industries—including healthcare. For example, setting the bar high for yourself in terms of honesty and ethics, learning how to delegate, and projecting confidence and positivity even when the days get tough. Of course, to do those things, you’ll need an extra strong dose of…
  2. Good Communication – You can have all the positivity, experience, knowledge, and management theory in the world, but if you can’t share those things effectively with your team, they won’t do you much good. The better you are at communicating (to patients, to other management, and to co-workers), the better you’ll be at leading. And communicating is more than just sharing your thoughts, by the way. Being a good listener is the essential second half of the skill.

 

  1. Build More Leaders – No leader, no matter how good they are, can do everything on their own. You need a team you can rely on, and that means developing new leaders within it. American Nurse Today suggests that you “Identify your informal and formal leaders and invest in them. Take them to meetings with you; have them provide presentations to the staff and senior-level leaders. Find opportunities to highlight their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Train them to be the next leaders.”

 

  1. Take Care Of Yourself – If you’re in a position of leadership, it’s probably because you’ve shown a passion for what you do, and now that you have more responsibility, you’ll be even more driven to succeed. This is wonderful, but don’t let that drive burn you out. “Remember to take care of yourself by eating well, sleeping enough, and exercising ,” advises Susan Hassmiller (PhD, RN, FAAN). “You need to be strong physically, emotionally, and spiritually to best take care of others and to model wellness for the people you serve.”

 

  1. Never Stop Learning – A good leader is always learning, and knows that he or she can learn from anyone—patient, co-worker, professor, or the nurse on the first shift of her career. “Technology and the profession continues to grow and expand,” writes Jacqueline Cole of the American Associations of Managed Care Nurses. “You are the resource for the lives you touch. To be the most effective and greatest resource for each patient is to keep your knowledge fresh.”

 

Not sure if you’re destined to manage or climb the hospital ladder? Keep these tips in mind anyway.

“Title aside, all nurses are called to leadership,” writes Eileen Williamson for Nurse.com. “The call to leadership moves all of us to a higher plane of responsibility and accountability, with or without a management title; it is inherent in all nursing positions from staff nurse to CEO. We all have similar goals and responsibilities for patient care.”

In a nutshell? If you care about your patients, care about your co-workers, and are willing to set an example by your own actions, then you’ve got what it takes to lead.

For more information on starting a career in health care, contact Unitek College today for information on our many available nursing and medical assistant programs.

Tips For Passing Your NCLEX Exam

Tips For Passing Your NCLEX Exam

Tips For Passing Your NCLEX Exam

Tips For Passing Your NCLEX Exam

Looming at the end of every nursing student’s program of study is that final hurtle between “student” and “professional nurse”… the NCLEX exam. All your hard work in classes, labs, and projects comes down to one final test, so it’s only natural that many test takers feel a little nervous going in. Fortunately, anyone preparing to take the test in the near future already has something big in their favor—they aren’t the first to take the test. Thousands have taken (and passed) the exam, and many have shared tips from their experience to help those following behind. Here are a few we’ve found to help you excel at that final certification and achieve that goal of becoming a nurse.

  1. Prepare Early – Cramming may have worked in high school, but you don’t want to rely on a last minute study “sprint” when your career is on the line. Instead, treat your studying and your test as more of a marathon—study early, study often, as far in advance as possible. “Even though you’ve done well in nursing school and you’ve had a great education, you must still prepare—and that means practicing,” says Jan Jones-Schenk (DHSc, RN, NE-BC). “Take 100 questions per day for two to three weeks leading up to your exam date.”
  2. Take Your Test ASAP – The longer you wait after graduation, the more chances you have to forget things you’ve learned. Make sure and take the test while the knowledge is still fresh in your mind. “The sooner you take it, with good preparation, the better your odds are for a first-time pass,” advises Jones-Schenk. “Two to three weeks should be enough time to prepare.”
  3. Know What You’re Getting Into – It’s natural to worry about a test like the NCLEX, but the more you know about the exam and exam requirements ahead of time, the more you can concentrate on actually taking the test (and remembering everything you studied). Check out https://www.ncsbn.org/nclex.htm early for a good idea of what’s ahead.
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice – The best way to prepare for what’s ahead is to actually experience what’s ahead, and there are plenty of practice tests available to help you do just that. Take advantage of the NCSBN’s practice exams to give yourself a head start on exam day.
  5. Get A Good Night’s Sleep – Resist the urge to stay up cramming the night before the test, and instead focus on getting seven to eight hours of sleep. Not only will the sleep be of greater benefit, but the cramming? Turns out it doesn’t work.
  6. Pick Up A Good Book – You can find a thorough and descriptive list here of books written to help nursing students prepare for the NCLEX.
  7. Look For The Logical Choices – There’s a great strategy guide available here to help you navigate the many multiple choice answers and use logic to narrow down the correct one. One recurring theme in the guide is to pay close attention to the wording of each question. For example, if a question uses absolute words like always, never, none, only, etc, pay extra attention to those answers. Just because an answer might apply to most situations, it doesn’t always mean all.

And while everyone wants to pass on the first try, keep in mind that not everybody does. Plenty of nurses failed their first tests only to pass later on and enjoy successful careers in health care. In California, failing the test simply means you must wait 45 days before trying again, and there’s no limitation to how many times you try. So if the first one doesn’t work out, use that waiting period to study for the second. You’ve worked hard to get this far, and your nursing career is waiting just a few correct answers away.

Good luck!

For more information on studying to become a nurse, contact Unitek College for more information on our multiple nursing and medical assistant progr