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Nurse of the Week: Florida Nurse Helps Man After Collapsing During Funny Girl Performance

Nurse of the Week: Florida Nurse Helps Man After Collapsing During Funny Girl Performance

Nicole Horochowski, a nurse from Florida, was the true star of the hit Broadway musical Funny Girl after helping a man who collapsed during the performance.

Last week Horochowski was a Broadway star, and this week she’s our Nurse of the Week.

Horochowski was catching the Broadway show at the August Wilson Theatre with her twin sister when she noticed two gentlemen get up, reports People .

“It was near the end of the play. And you notice it because you know it’s the tail end, and you go, ‘Oh, my God. I can’t believe they’re leaving the last 10 minutes,’” Horochowski says.

Horochowski quickly noticed this wasn’t just rude audience behavior but an actual emergency and jumped into action.

“Two or three rows in front of us, they stop. And the potential patient says in full volume, out loud, ‘I don’t feel well.’ And then just collapsed on a person sitting on the end of the row,” she describes.

Horochowski, a 37-year-old registered nurse who works in the ICU at AdventHealth in Orlando, says her training kicked in once she realized the man needed assistance.

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Nicole Horochowski and friends at Funny Girl. Photo credit: Nicole Horochowski

Lea Michele is up there singing her heart out,” she says. “I think all medical people can understand that you’re out and about, you’re not clocked in, and your first thought is, ‘Oh no, I’m not working. But now I’m about to start working.’ So you give it a second.”

She says she counted to five in her head, ruling out the possibility that the man had tripped or “maybe had a few too many.”

“It turned out to be something real. So I did get up, and you announce yourself as a nurse, and that is your duty.”

While the show went on, she went through a series of questions with the man, who she said regained his focus after about five minutes of her whispering to him in the darkened theater.

Someone called 911 while theater staff helped prepare on-site medical supplies. 

“I got right in [the patient’s] face and said, ‘Hey, I’m Nicole. I’m a nurse, what’s your name?’ and he stared right through me.”

She said her priority was to stay discreet and maintain the patient’s dignity, even though this was all happening in a dark theater during a performance. Speed was also of the essence.

“If Lea Michele happened to say, ‘What’s going on back there?’ You know, ‘I’ll chat with her later,’ Horochowski says. “This person is priority No. 1 for these next couple of minutes.”

When the man regained his faculties, he and his husband went out the back and into a waiting ambulance.

“That’s what happens when you take your nurse pledge, and you get pinned, and you are always a nurse — on the clock, off the clock, Christmas day, or any other random day of the year. You are always a nurse,” she says.

Nominate a Nurse of the Week! Every Wednesday, DailyNurse.com features a nurse making a difference in the lives of their patients, students, and colleagues. We encourage you to nominate a nurse who has impacted your life as the next Nurse of the Week, and we’ll feature them online and in our weekly newsletter.