Shannon Christensen, Red Hook resident and nurse, with her Mom, Sandi Christensen, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at NDP EMS
On the heels of completing her CPR training at NDP EMS, local resident Shannon Christensen unexpectedly had to put those skills to use.
Christensen explained: “I was on a clinical rotation in nursing school when a patient went into cardiac arrest. He was not my patient, but I heard the code and jumped right in. I had great training at NDP and my clinical instructors at the hospital commented later that I did everything correctly. My compressions were deep enough and my skills were ‘spot on’. The patient was saved and transferred to the ICU.”
Shannon, whose warmth and compassion are infectious - and who also happens to be the daughter of NDP EMS Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Sandi Christensen - hopes that her experience will inspire others to enroll in CPR training. Classes are offered 1-2 times each month at NDP’s headquarters in Rhinebeck; in a matter of a few hours, participants gain certification and the skills needed to likewise save a life.
We caught up with Shannon recently; here’s more from our interview:
Shannon, where did you grow up and attend school?
I grew up in Red Hook and graduated from Red Hook High School in 2020. I just received my Associates degree in Nursing from the Belanger School of Nursing, who has an affiliation with Siena College. I will graduate from Siena in 2024 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN).
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I read, spend time with my animals (dogs and cats), and hang out with my friends.
Tell us about your career plans, and what inspired your desire to become a nurse.
As stated, I now have a degree in nursing - and will probably pursue my Master’s degree at a later time. I am considering becoming a Nurse Practitioner. I am on this track because I have always had a calling to help people, and I care deeply about how people are treated. I treat my patients like they are members of my family. I want them to have the best experience possible, and want to fully be there for them in their time of need.
What prompted you to enroll in CPR training at NDP EMS?
I was prompted to enroll in CPR at NDP because I needed it for the nursing program and to work at the hospital for my clinicals. I knew it was the best place to receive this training; I have known about their program and have known the people who work there for a long time.
What was it like to learn these lifesaving skills?
CPR is an important skill to have - whether you are in the healthcare field or not. Everyone should take a CPR course. You never know when you might need this life saving skill. The instructor (Cheryl Hilbrandt) at NDP was very good at delivering this training, and made me feel confident in my skills - so confident that I felt comfortable putting them to use, as shared above, when I needed to do so.
Can you comment on the importance of everyone taking time out to learn CPR (and the ease of doing so at NDP)?
Everyone should take CPR, and NDP EMS makes it easy! You never know when someone will go into cardiac arrest and by simply knowing these skills you can help a family member or stranger and "SAVE A LIFE". I was able to do that for someone because I had the training, and others can do the same. Seconds are critical in these situations, and you need to be ready to jump in when someone is in need of care. NDP offers many flexible options in terms of scheduling - both day and evening classes - and they have sessions all year long. Everyone can find a few hours on their calendar at some point during the year to take this valuable class.
Can you comment on your mom’s role as part of the leadership team at NDP EMS, and in what ways her work in the first responder/emergency services world has inspired you?
I have always been around first responders/emergency services and have heard stories both good and bad. My dad is also a first responder, and my mom went to nursing school before coming to NDP. My mom has a leadership role at NDP, but she is "just my mom". She has always been my inspiration and gave me a great work ethic. She takes pride in her work like I do in mine; she has passed that on to me.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
The importance of CPR cannot be overstated - and the instructors at NDP are among the best to prepare you for any situation that may arise. I highly recommend signing up for a class - it gives you peace of mind to know that you will be ready if ever someone needs your help.
CPR Training is offered on a regular basis at the NDP EMS headquarters in Rhinebeck. In just a few hours you can earn certification and have the skills needed to save a life. To register, call 845.876.0448 X136.