Stories from Our Nurses: Katelyn Herriot


To celebrate Nurses Week, we are proud to share top submissions we received from our nurses. Today’s story is from Katelyn Herriot, who works as an Urgent Care/CDU Nurse at Largo Medical Center. Check out her nursing story below and stay tuned for more as the week continues. Thank you to our nurses!

‘It’s Who I Am’

“I was sitting next to my husband on a Boeing 747, along with his soccer team on our way to Sweden. His soccer team was traveling to take part in an international soccer tournament and I was along for the ride ready to start my two-week vacation. Suddenly, one hour into our journey an announcement came on overhead, asking if a medical doctor was onboard and to make their presence known to the cabin crew. I raised my hand to the flight attendant and said, “I’m not a doctor, but I am a nurse. Is there anything I can do to help?” She ushered me to the front of the plane where there was a small group of people surrounding an older woman who was unresponsive.  A man who was an emergency room physician was listening to the passenger with a stethoscope and an older man, a rheumatologist from Russia was standing next to him. The airline crew brought a medical box to us and I quickly took out a blood pressure machine and a glucometer. The passenger was dangerously hypotensive with a BP of 60/40.  I dug around in the medical box and found IV supplies and fluids. I knelt in the aisle and started an IV on her and initiated a bolus of IV fluids as the ER doctor explained to the crew that this woman needed emergent medical attention.

Shortly thereafter, another announcement came overhead, which said we were going to make an emergency pressure landing at a small nearby airport.  As someone with a severe flying phobia, I hid those emotions and reached for the oxygen tank to administer it to the passenger. As the plane turned to its side, the patient became more responsive. I started talking to her, telling her what happened and reassuring her she was going to be okay. She was answering my questions, her BP increased, and she was becoming more oriented. We landed safely and the EMS crew met us on the runway to take over. As I stood up to walk back to my seat, another passenger said aloud as she began to clap, “Thank God for nurses!”  I smiled and continued to the back of the plane next to my husband. He looked at me and said, “You couldn’t resist, could you?” And he was right.  I’m a nurse all the time. It’s not just my job or career. It’s who I am. We, as nurses don’t just switch off when we clock out. We can’t do it. That’s just what makes us a different breed and that’s what makes us special. We’re nurses every day in our everyday life. We’ll stop at the scene of an accident, respond when someone needs help, offer aid to an injured player during a game, give medical advice to friends and family, and help passengers in distress onboard a flight. No matter the degree, no matter the place, we’re always helping others and impacting lives.”

Katelyn Herriot
Urgent Care/CDU, Largo Health Center

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