Our Nurse of the Week is Lauren Wirwille, bride-to-be, who was driving to her own bridal shower with her mom in the front seat when she noticed a minivan stopped in front of her. She decided to honk, prompting the car to start moving again, but after Wirwille turned at the intersection her mom saw the van veer off the road. Realizing that the man had looked slumped over, Wirwille pulled over and ran toward the man’s car where she found him unconscious.
As an emergency room nurse for St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Green Oak Township, MI, Wirwille knew exactly what to do to help the man who had gone blue in the face. She was already running late to her bridal shower but couldn’t help pulling over to help a stranger, and she quickly realized it was a good thing she had followed her instincts.
After instructing her mother to call 911, Wirwille began trying to find the man’s pulse. At the same time, another driver pulled over and offered to help get the man out of his vehicle. Then Wirwille immediately started CPR. She recalled the event to ABCNews.go.com, explaining that, “Not a lot of people know how to do chest compressions. After a little while, you do get tired, and you need to not be tired, so I had my mom start chest compressions. She did great. I was so proud of her.”
Shortly after starting CPR, Fire Chief Kevin Gentry arrived on the scene and assisted in performing chest compressions. The EMS crew was able to revive the man and transport him to Providence Hospital where they believe the man was recovering but weren’t able to retrieve any details.
Wirwille ended up being an hour late to her bridal shower, but she was welcomed with open arms and applauded for her heroic actions. She didn’t regret being late to her shower; she was simply humbled by the experience and happy she was able to help somebody through an emergency situation.
Our Nurse of the Week is Shihan Huang, a senior nursing student at the University of Michigan who was born with biliary atresia, a liver condition that gave her a slim chance of survival. She needed a liver transplant, but was born in Taiwan at a time when most hospitals in the country didn’t have the capacity to perform infant transplants. However, her parents relocated to Ann Arbor, MI a few months later where Huang remained on the transplant list for over a year.
Then just two days after her second birthday, Huang’s parents received a call that there was a liver available. Michigan Medicine nurse, Vicki Shieck, cared for Huang following her transplant and she still remembers those early days treating Huang. Her surgery was a success, and now all grown up, Huang is pursuing a nursing degree at the University of Michigan.
Huang is a thriving young woman, but her condition requires lifelong maintenance and monitoring. Shieck tells Nursing.UMich.edu, “Just like any young adult who had a liver transplant as an infant, Shihan had some transition hurdles to overcome in learning how to manage her chronic illness. Many of my kids her age don’t overcome those hurdles and it leads to non-adherence, chronic rejection and unfortunately, death.”
Huang credits Shieck for encouraging her throughout her treatment and as an adult pursuing a career in nursing that will allow her to support other children facing similar challenges. She explains her career choice, saying “I’ve been in the hospital so much and I know what it feels like to be sick and feeling terrible. Nursing is my way of giving back. The health care profession did a lot for me so I want to be able to give back.”
Huang is now preparing for her graduation ceremony. She plans to work for a few years before returning to graduate school after she has decided on a specialty area. To learn more about senior nursing student Shihan Huang and the many ways she’s giving back to the field of nursing, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Carrie Stephenson, a School Nurse at Bemis Middle School in Michigan. When Stephenson showed up for work on an ordinary Friday morning, she had no idea she would later be saving a seventh grader’s life as he began to suffer from a stroke.
Stephenson was called to a hallway to help a seventh-grader named Isaiah Griffin who was vomiting and drifting in and out of consciousness as he swayed back and forth. Realizing his vomit didn’t look normal, Stephenson insisted that he be taken to a hospital immediately via EMS transportation. However, the school nurse didn’t realize that the student she was helping had a blood clot an inch from his brain stem that was causing a serious and life-threatening stroke.
After an ambulance had been called, Stephenson sat with Griffin, checking his pulse and blood pressure, and watching his eyes and facial expressions while monitoring his breathing until paramedics arrived. Stephenson’s insistence that he be taken to a hospital immediately is likely what saved Griffin’s young life. Isaiah turned 14 just days after the emergency medical event. His blood clot was removed and while he now walks awkwardly and will need occupational and physical therapy to help his recovery, doctors are optimistic about his outcome.
Stephenson is in her third year as a nurse for the Jackson-Madison County School System and Griffin’s situation was the first time she had ever dealt with such a serious emergency. Students had been suffering from a stomach virus going around campus and when she received the call about a sick student, she assumed that’s all it was.
Looking back on the experience, Stephenson said she didn’t feel like she did anything but her job. However, Griffin’s mom was deeply grateful for Stephenson’s life-saving intervention. Stephenson also visits a nearby elementary school about once a week, but primarily works at Bemis Middle School. Not every school has a full-time nurse so Stephenson is thankful that she was there that day. Striving to learn from the situation, Stephenson hopes it will bring awareness to the local healthcare administration that a nurse is needed at every school in the district in case of emergency.
Kara George, BSN, recently received a DAISY Award for exceptional nursing skills and patient care from Sparrow Clinton Hospital in St. Johns, MI. George began working at Sparrow Clinton Hospital eight years ago, joining the Inpatient Nursing team where she quickly became a valued employee by co-workers and patients.
George found her passion for nursing after losing her mother in a tragic car accident at 19. She went on to earn her nursing degree from Clarkson College, affiliated with the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Nominated by her patients who praised her for her kindness, listening skills, and calming demeanor, her DAISY Award is well deserved. Showing her passion for her profession, George told Fox47News.com,
“Helping patients and their families through the healing process is part of the circle of life. When you care for a patient and you receive that first ‘thank you’ – that’s when you realize how awesome it is to be a Nurse.”
The DAISY Award is an international program celebrating extraordinary nurses for their compassionate and skillful care. For more information about the DAISY Foundation and nominating a nurse from your own hospital, visit here.
Effective as of Nov. 1, the School of Nursing will become the fifth school at the University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint). The nursing program was originally part of the School of Health Professions and Studies but after a three-year vetting process will now stand alone as its own school.
As one of the fastest growing occupations in the nation and in the midst of a nationwide nursing shortage, UM-Flint recognized the opportunity to create a School of Nursing and took advantage. UM-Flint’s nursing program is well known for its hands-on approach, and the creation of the School of Nursing will bring on a full range of new programs and resources for their students.
The Department of Nursing at UM-Flint has a 45-year history of educating over 3,000 nurses and nurse practitioners. There are currently over 1500 students enrolled in pre-nursing or nursing bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree programs. More than 19% of students at the university study nursing or pre-nursing.
Director and Professor of Nursing at UM-Flint, Margaret Andrews, is pleased by the development of the School of Nursing and believes it will help better serve the surrounding community. The onset of the new School of Nursing will include new programs and partnerships with over 700 community organizations, providing a direct impact on the health of the local community. This progress will elevate the nursing program, making it more attractive by expanding the opportunities available to studies and faculty.
Transitioning into the School of Nursing is expected to enable the nursing programs to keep pace with the rapid changes in healthcare education and technology, create new nursing specialty programs, and achieve greater overall success through the launching of new programs to attract well-qualified and diverse and students and faculty.
A new program from Oakland University’s (OU) School of Nursing at Focus Hope in central Detroit has $800,000 in grant money intended to provide full tuition for specially qualified applicants. The program’s purpose is to help people get back on their feet by encouraging homeless, unemployed, or underemployed members of the Detroit Community into nursing careers.
The program targeted Detroit because it is one of the leading cities in the United States with third-generation poverty. Beyond helping families escape from homelessness and find nice jobs, Oakland University wants to help Detroit citizens into a career ladder so that future generations of their families don’t fall into the same situation.
OU’s School of Nursing at Focus Hope has a wonderful goal for helping less fortunate families improve their outcomes, but finding applicants hasn’t been easy. Applicants are required to have a high school diploma or GED and pass a drug screen. The nursing school decided to go to where the people are, searching for people in shelters, standing in food lines, or those just down on their luck but with an aptitude to help others.
Luckily, a few students have now been approved for the program. Crystal Jordan, a single mother who was working as a nurse’s assistant at COTS (Coalition on Temporary Shelter), heard the commotion and wandered outside to find that she was a perfect fit for a free nursing education. Jordan loves caring for people who need help, but didn’t have the option to pay college tuition. She has four kids under 12 years old and has to use all of the money she makes for bills, food, and school supplies.
Ashley Banks is another example of someone who dreamed of being a nurse but couldn’t afford tuition. Thanks to OU’s School of Nursing at Focus Hope, Banks started nursing school this summer and will graduate in January. Banks says the program has been life-changing for her, forcing her to alter her way of living to better herself. And she says the program is heartwarming in the way she is learning things to help change other peoples’ lives as well. She now has 64 credits toward being a registered nurse and will soon complete her nursing education, coming out highly employable and debt-free at the end.
More students are needed before the end of September to keep the money for the program from going away.