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Serving others is all in a day’s work for ACU nursing student


Caleb Shirley is senior nursing major from Monahans, Texas
Caleb Shirley, senior nursing major from Monahans, Texas, was ready to jump into action when an emergency called.

Photo by Scott Delony

Caleb Shirley has gained plenty of hands-on training through ACU’s nursing program, but one night in the ER showed him just how prepared he was.

He was working in the emergency room at a local hospital with a less experienced nursing student shadowing him. Only three nurses were on duty that day, and they were considerably busy, he recalled.

“The clerk received a call from security that a woman was outside the main entrance and unconscious in the back seat of her husband’s truck,” Caleb said. “With no nurses to respond immediately, my student and I ran outside, and I quickly hopped in the back of the truck to assess the situation. She was unresponsive, no respirations, no heartbeat; my training immediately kicked in.”

Caleb started CPR in the parking lot while directing the security officer to call for the physician and nurses and directing the nursing student to grab an empty stretcher from the hallway. 

“After about 3 minutes of CPR, the team had finally arrived with a stretcher,” he said. “I hopped on top of the stretcher, then continued CPR as they wheeled us back to the trauma bay to perform other necessary measures.”

Caleb’s quick action was a result of the extensive knowledge and training he gained during his coursework and labs at ACU. “God put me in that situation for a reason, and I can easily say my training at ACU allowed me to give that woman her best chance at survival,” he said.

His level of readiness is not unusual for ACU nursing students. 

“Our faculty really focus on teaching us the necessary skills and thought processes to provide basic and extensive life-saving care,” he said. “We go through numerous hours of training and clinical settings to advance the basics we were taught in the classroom.”

After graduation, Caleb plans to work in an ICU in Austin, Texas, as a nurse-resident and eventually earn a master’s degree in biomedical sciences. He may even go to medical school. 

“I know I will be where God wants me, and I will be answering his call,” he said. “I want to be a part of something greater than myself.”

Learn more about ACUs School of Nursing

– Robin Saylor

Dec. 1, 2021

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