“Even though I had a heavy load that day, I decided to check on that baby first,” Toni recalls. “When I arrived in the room, I assessed the mom and baby visually. I could tell that the mom was fine, but the baby wasn’t.”
Leaving the room calmly so she didn’t alarm the child’s parents, Toni walked out to get an oxygen monitor — and then she ran down the hall as fast as she could.
When she reentered the room with the monitor a few minutes later, Toni realized that the baby didn’t look very alert and her oxygen levels were too low and continuing to drop. She made a decision.
“I think we have a problem,” Toni said. “I need to take the baby.”
Grabbing the newborn, Toni ran down the hall to the newborn intensive care unit, where the neonatologist quickly determined that air had accumulated in the area between the baby’s lungs and chest wall, causing one lung to collapse. The other was about to collapse as well.
Thanks to Toni’s quick thinking, doctors were able to perform emergency care and save the baby’s life. After a short recovery, she went home with her parents.
“That moment was the highlight of my career,” Toni, who has 35 years of experience as a nurse in maternal/child care, says. “If I had ignored that baby or gone in on a second or third round instead of checking on her first, she probably wouldn’t have made it.”
Dorothy Etchells, an RNnetwork recruiter who has worked with Toni since 2011, says she regularly receives positive feedback from clients about Toni’s care.
“I’ve had leaders at hospitals tell me that when Toni is working, they have no worries at all,” Dorothy shares.
And while Toni is quick to say that she’s not Florence Nightingale or a miracle worker, she notes that her instinct has developed through years as a nurse, mother and grandmother — and it has allowed her to save lives.
“I know I really did make a difference that day,” Toni expresses. “This story just shows how important it is to trust your instincts and to trust what you’ve studied. Don’t take any small detail for granted.”