May 23, 2017

“Dear Jimmy Kimmel’s Nurse” from Nurse Kelley Johnson

It was a nurse at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles that saved Jimmy Kimmel’s newborn son. This nurse saved this little boy’s life by detecting his murmur, recognizing that he was blue, and ensuring he was brought to the NICU for life saving measures.

Here’s the part that I find most surprising: most people find this surprising.

“Wow! It was the nurse! How extraordinary!” …almost as if this was a fluke. But to the nursing community, this is normal. This is expected. This is our job description.

I am not bringing this up to downplay the heroic acts of all the nurses that assisted in saving little William’s life that day. I believe they are angels who were meant to be there for this little guy, and their expertise is respected. I am bringing this up to educate the public about what nurses do, because let’s face it, they do not know.

Most people believe nurses are assistants that can get you food, help you go to the bathroom, check your vitals, and follow a Doctor’s orders. It is true, those are things that we can do, but scientifically and medically our scope of practice is so much wider than that. There are too many ways to count that nurses save lives every single day through their assessments and expertise, but Jimmy Kimmel’s nurse did an amazing job in bringing one of them to the forefront.

I will not be surprised by what this nurse did, because that would be an insult to her skill. This kind of nursing happens ALL THE TIME, people. ALL THE TIME. Nurses are incredible. My point is this: this was not a fluke, not a one time “good catch”, this was a nurse doing her job in recognizing a life-threatening condition in one of her patients and doing something about it.  Yes, she deserves endless support and recognition because she saved a life, and I would be willing to bet this was not the first time. However, it is time we stopped being surprised by quality nursing care like this, but rather, start remembering that it is the foundation of the entire profession. Quality nursing care is most often the norm and it deserves appreciation every single day. Nurses are highly intelligent healthcare professionals that are essential to safe and effective patient care. Hopefully, with more people expecting this kind of care, nursing can receive the acknowledgement and thanks it has earned. Thank you, Jimmy Kimmel, for giving this specific superstar nurse the pat on the back she deserves for moments like this one. It won’t be her last.

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