How A Nurse Saved Jimmy Kimmel's Newborn Son
By Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC
When Jimmy Kimmel shared the heartbreaking story of his newborn son’s brush with death and (ultimately successful) emergency heart surgery, his first words of praise were for nurses.
After the baby was born, Kimmel revealed that it was a nurse who first identified the heart murmur that would require an urgent surgical repair in order to save the child’s life.
He went on to thank many other nurses, as well as physicians, surgeons, and other staff at Cedars-Sinai, the non-profit hospital where little Billy Kimmel was born, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where the life-saving surgery took place.
Nurses on the Front Lines
Jimmy Kimmel’s praise of nurses is understandable. In the annual Gallup poll, nurses are consistently shown to be the most trusted professionals in the United States. And when you ask an average person what they think about nurses, you’ll generally hear praise. Almost everyone has a heartwarming story about a nurse who helped them. Many people think nurses are amazing people who do some of the most important and difficult work in the world.
While physicians and surgeons provide incredible care to millions every day, it’s clear that nurses spend a great deal more time with patients than doctors do. For this reason, having highly trained nurses with deep clinical knowledge and extensive training is so important -- nurses are on the front lines, and they’re at the bedside when doctors are not.
More Nurses, More Healthcare
With the increasing autonomy and independence of nurse practitioners around the country, even more Americans are benefitting from the skill and expertise of nurses, including those in advanced practice.
NPs are moving into primary care and geriatrics, picking up the slack from physicians who’ve abandoned primary care for specialties that pay higher salaries.
And with the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) still the law of the land, millions of Americans have access to health insurance and healthcare than they did prior to the ACA going into effect under President Obama.
Twenty percent of Americans will be 65 or older by 2029, and you can bet that nurses are going to be at the forefront of providing care for an aging population.
Nurses: The Lifeblood of Healthcare
The neonatal nurse who heard Billy’s murmur and alerted the doctor is a true lifesaver. She did what nurses do: assess, evaluate, and take action based on her nursing expertise, skill, and knowledge.
These types of heroic moments happen every day around the world. Millions of nurses who will never receive praise from a television star will keep doing what they do because that’s who they are and why they’re nurses.
We nurses know what makes us tick, and Jimmy Kimmel and his wife just experienced what we all know: nurses are the true lifeblood and heart of healthcare.
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Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC is a Board-Certified Nurse Coach, award-winning blogger, nurse podcaster, speaker, and author. Based in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Nurse Keith’s work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications.
*Image credit: YOUTUBE