Back to Life

Back to Life

From Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul Second Dose

Back to Life

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

George Bernard Shaw

As a 911 nurse, I was a part of a well-coordinated team of professionals that systematically assessed and treated cardiac arrests and other life-threatening events. On one particular call, we were dispatched to a pub near a local university to find a man in his late fifties receiving CPR from the fire department.

One of my first duties as the team leader was to assess the quality and effectiveness of the CPR by checking for a pulse. The victim was being intubated by a respiratory therapist, a fireman was doing chest compressions, and the other respiratory therapist was putting electrical leads on his chest. I could not get to his neck to check for a carotid pulse, so I unzipped the man’s pants to gain access to the femoral pulse in his groin area.

After several defibrillator shocks, the man’s pulse stabilized and he was made ready for transport to the nearest hospital. I picked up supplies, empty syringes, and other medications so I could accompany him, and became aware of my surroundings for the first time.

Two male college students sat in a booth immediately adjacent to our resuscitation area. As I was leaving, I heard one of them say to the other, “I think I’d come back to life again, too, if she put her hands in my pants!”

L. Sue Booth

Reprinted by permission of Jonny Hawkins. © 2006 Jonny Hawkins.

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