Healthcare Insider Blog

Heroic healthcare professionals are never off the clock

  • Healthcare Alvernia

Healthcare professionals save lives on the job, everyday. And chances are Reading hospitals have seen their fair share of life-saving heroics. But it is truly amazing when these seemingly ordinary people go out of their way, sometimes putting their own lives at risk, to help people that are in trouble outside of the hospital.

Here’s a look at three people who put their life-saving skills to work during their personal time:

Deborah Johnson

Johnson, a nurse from Nashville with over 30 years of training, was at a Fat Tuesday celebration in 2003 when a teenager shot four people. Out of instinct, she ran towards the sounds of the gunshots and acted in more ways than one.

Johnson, who works now as director of clinical transformation at Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) witnessed several teenagers flee the scene and found four victims on the ground, she told With other health workers helping out, Johnson focused her attention on a young woman who was shot in the thigh. She administered first aid by applying pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding, she told the news outlet.

“It appalled me as a human being that we don’t admit or bear witness when we see wrong,” she told The Huffington Post. The veteran nurse pushed past her worry and gave police a description of the gunman she saw.

Her actions prompted others to do the same, which led police to make arrests and find the gun. – The Huffington Post

Johnson has shown that not only do healthcare professionals help with medical issues but issues at large in the community.

Linda Alweiss

Linda Alweiss was relaxing with a Sudoku puzzle on a flight home to Southern California from Iowa for the holidays Dec. 30 when the flight crew asked if any passengers could provide medical help. The registered nurse from Camarillo quickly volunteered. The flight attendant took her to the cockpit for the medical emergency.

The pilot was slumped in his seat.

He was clearly suffering from a possibly fatal arrhythmia,” Alweiss said.

Her husband, Alan, and another passenger helped move the captain from the cramped cockpit to the galley floor. Alweiss and another registered nurse, Amy Sorenson, of Wyoming, went to work, hooking up a diagnostic defibrillator and starting an IV.

“We couldn’t leave his side, fortunately smooth landing.” – NBC Los Angeles

Not only did Alweiss possibly save the life of the pilot, but she maintained the necessary calm among passengers for the rest of the flight.

Antonio Henderson

On Feb. 16, Aamiyah’s mother, Jasmine Taylor, 23, an ophthalmic assistant, was preparing for an early morning trip her daughter’s cheer competition in Dallas when she noticed signs of trouble. Just a week earlier, her daughter had been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that typically causes weakness in voluntary muscles. There were plans for follow-ups and treatment planning with doctors but Aamiyah had difficulty swallowing her breakfast and began vomiting soon after taking her medicine that morning, Ms. Taylor said.

Ms. Taylor frantically called 9-1-1 and waited at the door for paramedics.

“Then she started having seizures and collapsed in my arms,” she said.

Aamiyah’s muscles were collapsing her airways and prevented her from breathing.

Ms. Taylor ran next door and began banging on Henderson’s door screaming for help.

Henderson’s sister woke him and he rushed to the child’s aid.

Henderson, 27, a nurses’ aid and nursing program student, said the stress of the situation was incredible but that he was only thinking “about getting that little girl back to her mom.”

Henderson performed CPR and revived the girl and kept her breathing until paramedics arrived. – Tyler Morning Telegraph

Nurses and other healthcare professionals are never really off the clock. As people with special skills and knowledge that the average person doesn’t have, their responsibility to protect and help people often extends beyond their shifts.

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