Academic Planning >>

Skip to main content

Felicia Chen, Nu’22

“I worked as a nurse extern on the neuro ICU at Cooper University Hospital for 7 weeks!

At a split second, the monitor starts to beep aggressively, showing that O2 saturation plummets to 60%, BP is trending down to 60/40, and the patient’s work of breathing intensifies. Code Blue called. Code Cart at the door.

All hands on deck. Every nurse and physician in the room seems to have an innate response to the emergency. I stood by the door, still trying to process the chaotic scene.

Not long after, the nurse performing the chest compression requested a switch. I peered into the room; everyone else in the room is occupied with their tasks…

The milliseconds before my choice to step into the room, my head was filled with doubts and fear, granted I have never done a chest compression on a real person before. But my fear challenged me to step into the room because it is my responsibility to help keep the patient alive.

I immediately rushed in to take over the chest compression. I remember distinctly of my hands on the patient’s chest, working to give each solid compression until my arms gave out to call for a switch…

This experience, along with many others, has manifested more strength and resilience in me than I could have ever imagined possible.

Yes, it was definitely scary at times, and the events at every shift could be unpredictable and challenging. Still, what I have learned and grown as a healthcare professional in these two months on the neuro ICU, I would not trade it for any other opportunity this summer.”

To submit your own story, visit www.nursing.upenn.edu/humans.