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Programmed nurse saves the day

Dec 11, 2019

Last month, Programmed nurse, Cherrelyn found herself in the right place at the right time.

The day began like any other. A call came in to the WA Programmed Health Professionals (PHP) team from a hospital client with an urgent request for a registered nurse to start a shift as soon as possible. After a quick check of availabilities in the system, Cherrelyn, a registered nurse with extensive emergency department and critical care experience, was called and quickly accepted the shift.

Upon arriving at the hospital carpark, Cherrelyn noticed a delivery truck was parked strangely and the driver was standing at the open door of the passenger side of the vehicle. Within seconds, he collapsed and Cherrelyn went into auto pilot.

“I dropped my bag and ran over to offer assistance as best I could,” she says.

After quickly scouring the scene around her, she determined there was no obvious danger to herself or the driver before proceeding with first aid.

A passer-by stopped to offer assistance and Cherrelyn instructed them to alert staff and get an ambulance while she continued to talk to the driver, explaining that she was there to help. The driver had sustained a head injury from the fall but was breathing although not verbally responsive. His face was flushed, lips were puffy and he eventually started to move his limbs.

Hospital staff were the next to arrive, fully equipped with gloves and an observation machine. The driver was placed in the recovery position, his airways checked, an icepack applied under his head and he was covered with a blanket until the paramedics arrived.

Cherrelyn checked his ID and any evidence of allergies. Looking over at the truck, she noticed an EpiPen on the passenger side floor along with a small bag containing a wallet and medications, including antihistamine tablets. A pharmacist was among the hospital staff, who quickly called his chemist and GP and was able to ascertain that he had an allergy to bees.

Eight minutes into the incident, an ambulance arrived on the scene and quickly took over first aid care.

It was unknown if the driver had been stung by a bee and or if he was having a heart attack. “In either case myself and another nurse were concerned he was going to go into cardiac arrest.” He was placed on a stretcher and rushed into the hospital.

Cherrelyn, having done all she could, proceeded to the hospital to sign on for her shift.

The CEO later praised Cherrelyn’s “quick response, actions and assistance provided to the driver.”

In a fortuitous chain of events, it was later determined that the driver was due to make a delivery across the road from the hospital when he’d been stung by a bee. Instead of making his delivery, he reversed into the hospital carpark, causing some damage to a fence on the way through.

Cherrelyn says she’s “still amazed that this all unfolded right in front of [her] eyes. I would not hesitate to make the same decision to help if this ever happened again.”

Originally joining PHP in 2007, Cherrelyn does an average of four shifts per week. She is a favorite among many of our clients and is consistently requested specifically for shifts. Programmed took the time recently to acknowledge Cherrelyn with an employee recognition award in light of her display of personal safety leadership. Well done Cherrelyn, keep up the great work!

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