This is National Nurses Week. VA has over 100,000 reasons to celebrate Nurse’s Week. Through their daily service, VA’s 100,000+ nurses make lasting improvements in the quality of care Veterans receive at more than 1,250 facilities around the nation.
Here’s is just one story about how VA nurses excel in their occupation, on and off duty.
VA Nurse Karen Brodlo (pictured above) sat in a restaurant enjoying her dinner when she heard someone yell to call 911.
She looked up to see an elderly woman had collapsed and was not breathing. The woman was having dinner with her husband when the night took a turn for the worst.
Brodlo quickly jumped in action. As a VA nurse for 23 years and in the nursing field since 1969, it was second nature. She identified herself to the crowd as a nurse and assessed the situation. Right away she noticed that the woman was positioned incorrectly. She quickly made the adjustments and started to administer CPR.
She continued manual CPR process until the rescue team arrived. She then turned her focus to the husband who was nervous and scared for his wife’s well-being. She tried to calm him down as the rescue team continued to work to save the woman’s life.
She later suggested to the restaurant that a general-use defibrillator would be a useful addition.
She remembers the worst part being, not having the equipment she needed. She suggested to the restaurant after the incident that a general-use defibrillator would be a useful addition. Just as most businesses have fire extinguishers, a defibrillator should also be a requirement. Just as easy to use, it’s better to have and not need it than to need it and not have it.
After much praise came her way for saving a life, Brodlo said, “I just did what was right. No accolades are needed for doing my job.”
The restaurant now gives her star treatment. The daughter of the woman she saved sent a bouquet of flowers along with a heartfelt thank you card calling Brodlo her mom’s “Guardian Angel.”
Brodlo is a nurse at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago.
As a caring nurse who adores her job, she followed up on the status of her honorary patient. Sadly, a couple of weeks after the incident, the woman passed away from further complications, but the family was overwhelming grateful.
The last days with any family member or loved one is crucial. If it wasn’t for the quick actions of nurse Karen Brodlo, they would have missed out on the opportunity to say their last goodbye.
Chanda Johnson is a public affairs specialist at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center