VA nurse CPR training pays off

Resuscitates neighbor until medical help arrived


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Many nurses at Tennessee Valley Healthcare System are required to complete CPR training every three months. As a nurse gets more tenure in their craft, that training can begin to feel repetitive.

But according to Elizabeth Priestley, a nurse practitioner at the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, it’s anything but a waste of time.

Priestley practices on a CPR training manikin.

Priestley has completed numerous hours of CPR training and said she has often wondered if it was worth her time or if she would ever use the skills on a real person.

She now has an answer to that question

While Priestley was at home enjoying a weekend, her son alerted her of a neighbor who had fallen and was unresponsive in his front yard.

Priestley said when she reached the neighbor, he didn’t have a pulse and was not breathing. That’s when the training kicked in.

She said she knew exactly how hard and how far to push down on the neighbor’s chest as she performed CPR on him.

“I could hear the computer program counting in my head with that computer voice the whole time. I was thinking, making sure I go deep enough but allowing time for recoil. I was remembering the 30:2 ratio, head tilt and watching for the lungs to fill – the whole shebang.”

Training serves a real purpose

The CPR worked. Priestley resuscitated the neighbor and stayed with him until additional medical help arrived.

“The experience really taught me that even though some of the exercises and training we do may seem pointless, repetitive, and mundane, they serve a real purpose.”

Priestly talks about the experience in this short video.


Roger RyDell Daniels is a public affairs specialist for the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.

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Comments

  1. MICHAEL Lang    

    I a. A CPR Instructor, have been for over 15 years. Was an Instructor with the AHA, Red Cross and now I teach with the American CPR Training. Everyone should take a class.

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