Care in the Air
Four Nurses Fly to the Aid of a Fellow Passenger
During a recent trip to a training event in Texas, four Shady Grove Adventist Hospital clinical education specialists found themselves in the right place at the right time.
As they flew from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on March 17, Patricia Bodine, RN, CPAN; Maria Gentry, RN, CMSRN; Jennifer Lewis, RN, MSN, CCRN; and Cindy Mohardt, RN, CMSRN, saw a woman sitting near them collapse in the aisle.
The nurses quickly jumped into action. They helped wake the woman, who was initially unresponsive. She was sweating and had a weak pulse. They helped her back to her seat, then checked her blood sugar and blood pressure levels. While the plane was still in flight, the woman passed out again. The nurses gave her ginger ale and placed an oxygen mask on her.
Gentry, who was sitting next to the woman, remembers her saying, “I am so blessed that you ladies were on this flight. What are the chances I would be sitting right next to a nurse?”
The woman’s condition was stabilized, so the plane did not need to perform an emergency landing, avoiding delay and inconvenience for the passengers. The nurses worked with the flight staff to arrange for paramedics to meet the woman at the landing gate.
During the hectic activity to help the woman off the plane and into the hands of paramedics, the nurses did not catch her name or contact information, so they could not follow up on her condition. They are hopeful, however, that she had a quick recovery. The nurses are also happy that they were able to use their skills to assist a passenger in need.
“As nurses,” Mohardt says, “when we see that someone needs assistance, it’s our instinct to jump in and help.”