Nursing Student Blizzard Heroes

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Students from Rush University College of Nursing volunteered to lend a most welcome helping hand in one of Rush’s hospital units that was understaffed due to the extremely difficult travel conditions experienced as a blizzard passed through the Chicago area on February 1 - 2. The unit director drafted a message of appreciation to Melanie Dreher, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing.

Communication from Fred Brown, DNP, RN, Rush University Medical Center, 9 South unit director, to Melanie Dreher, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing:

“I wanted to share this note of thanks with you and to the Rush nursing students that rescued 9 South Atrium during the snow storm. On Weds. 2/2/11 we had several staff members unable to make it in to work. As I met with our leadership team late the night before, we had just called our entire staffing list and we were not able to get staff from our supplemental office. Everyone had needs.

“Unexpectantly, I received a text page from Jon Christophersen, a third-quarter GEM student, asking if we needed help on 9S. He saw an e-mail from the hospital asking for volunteers. I immediately gained permission from the acting CNO to see if it was okay to have students provide emergency support to our unit. After we received the okay, Jon Christophersen, Joy Collins and Kate Tonnies reported to 9S the following morning to provide basic nursing care.

“We needed a total of 6 PCTs and had only 3. The students were a welcome addition as they completed the complement of care we needed. They took vital signs, provided AM care, transferred patients, performed accuchecks, emptied drains and provided other basic, essential care. They did an amazing job.
At the end of the day, the staff complimented the students on their professionalism and the care they provided.

“I am sure you have heard of many [blizzard] stories, but this is one that the staff on 9South will not forget.”