Alison Hoenninger

Alison Hoenninger

Alison Hoenninger, BSN, RN

Lancaster General Health
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
United States

I would like to share an experience that I had about a year ago and to tell you about the self-sacrificing, professional, caring, and extraordinary experience I had with a special nurse who works in our LGH Post Anesthesia Care Unit, Surgical Services Department. Her name is Alison Hoenninger.

I also work at LGH and it was during my shift that I had a heart attack. I left my desk to go back to the area where Alison works, she was not busy at the time, thus when I asked her to take my vital signs, she had time to do so. She immediately noted there was something wrong when she took my blood pressure and listened to my heart through her stethoscope and then said she wanted to do a three lead ECG. When she did the ECG an irregular heart rhythm was detected. She advised me to go to the Emergency Department. It was about a half hour before my shift was over so I went back to my desk to close and then decided I should call my Nurse Practitioner at East Petersburg Family Practice. I was not experiencing pain that I heard other people say they have, just a little chest discomfort. After explaining the situation to my Nurse Practitioner and when I said I was reluctant to go to the Emergency Room she asked to speak to Alison. After Alison and the Nurse Practitioner conversed, Alison came to me with a wheel chair telling me it was best for me to go to the Emergency Room.

Upon going to the Emergency Department and examination there, my vital signs were then normal, chest X-Ray and EKG normal as well; even blood work was normal. When Nurse Alison's shift was over, she came to sit with me in the ED. She sat with me for hours. When she heard I could leave to go home, she immediately intervened saying we have the ECG tape that she had taken several hours prior. That information was shown to the doctor and then it was decided I should stay overnight for observation, a stress test to be done in the morning, and more blood work.

Blood work was done early in the morning; it then indicated elevated cardiac enzymes. Oxygen was not getting to my heart and I had had a heart attack. A heart catheterization was then ordered and a 95 percent blockage was discovered posterior descending artery of my heart, and a stent placed. I am in relatively good health with no high cholesterol or diabetes, etc. so this came as a surprise to me!

I call this experience a "God Encounter" with a special angel by my side - that special angel being Alison Hoenninger! If it had not been for her nursing clinical expertise and extraordinary compassionate care at the time, who knows what would have transpired? I appreciate what Alison did for me, her percipience and insistence. She would do the same for her patients that she cares for every day. I see that kind of caring and dedication she has. Her heart is definitely in her nursing career!