Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer Douglas, BSN, RN

Intensive Care Step Down
Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City , Oklahoma
United States

One Sunday in May, I knew I was going to be late.  It was raining outside and every single car was driving 30 mph; there were two police cars in front of me and a distinctive silver car on the interstate. The silver car and I both exited the interstate at the same light and I looked over at her and recognized a nurse I work with often. She went on to park on the North side of the hospital and I parked on the South side. I entered the building and rounded the corner to the elevators, I saw someone lying on the floor in front of the elevator. I called out to them, but they did not respond. I threw my belongings down and went over to find the nurse from the silver car on the floor, unresponsive, with a bleeding wound on her forehead. The young nurse showed decerebrate posturing and I immediately thought she was having a seizure. There was one lone visitor in the lobby that morning and I sent him to call the operator for help. I placed my hand on the nurse's hip and neck (to check for a pulse) and turned her on her side. She stopped breathing and had no pulse. I yelled over my shoulder the emergency number and told the visitor to say, "Code Blue" as I began chest compressions. The young nurse was shocked twice and had several rounds of CPR before she awoke with no recollection of the event. I made one of the most difficult phone calls of my life when I called her husband, a friend of mine, and calmly requested that he go immediately to the Emergency Room. I asked her husband if she ever had a seizure to which he denied and relayed the events to the Code Leader. That young nurse had a very unstable cardiac rhythm and I remember asking the Hospitalist running the code if he was sure that she was in V-Tach. Immediately after the code, I went upstairs and took report on my patients, though I kept in close contact with my friend who updated me about his wife's condition throughout the day. She was transferred to the Oklahoma Heart Hospital and underwent quadruple bypass surgery three days later.

I do not consider myself a hero, but, rather feel as though God chose for me to be there in that moment for my co-worker. In 8 years of driving to Mercy Hospital, I had never once seen her or two police officers on a Sunday morning. When the security officers reviewed the security camera footage, it showed my co-worker pushing the elevator button, falling, and then I walked around the corner.

That day changed me as a person and am forever grateful for CPR and ACLS instructors and all those nurses that have offered bits of wisdom over the years that have helped me become the nurse I am today.