POINT BEMUS — Students enrolled in a local practical nursing program undergo training to prepare for a variety of health-related situations.
For a student heading to class last week at BOCES in Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus, a car accident taught her first lesson in how to assess a situation and stay calm.
Adrianna Heary from Fredonia was traveling on Ellery Centralia Road near Bemus Point on her way to her nursing assistant course at Hewes Educational Center. As she was driving, she saw an accident in her rear view mirror involving a car driving behind her and another she had just passed. One of the cars flipped over as a result, so she quickly pulled over and called 911.
Heary first approached the overturned vehicle and made contact with the driver who, miraculously, suffered no injuries. She then checked the other vehicle which suffered the most damage.
“I went to the other car, and there was only one passenger too,” Heary said. “I tried to open her door and it remained closed. I asked the girl how she was feeling and noticed a few things that were wrong. She said she was very hot and that she couldn’t feel her legs. She also said that she was very thirsty, kept repeating things and was very pale. She also had no idea what was going on. had just happened. … All of this is a sign of shock. I knew it was not a good idea to get her out of the vehicle because she could have suffered serious injuries. The girl held my hand while waiting for d other people show up, and I kept talking to her, asking her about herself.
As fate would have it, the next vehicle to arrive at the scene was also filled with people heading to the practical nursing program: health care services specialist Susan Sosinski and administrative assistant Karen Gollnitz, a Certified First Responder and Director of Ski Patrol for Cockaigne Resort.
“The driver had blood pressure below 100 because she had no radial pulse, and Adrianna’s assessment that the driver was in shock was correct,” said Gollnitz.
First responders arrived at the scene shortly thereafter and were able to extricate the driver from her vehicle; she transported her in an ambulance for treatment. The driver, a SUNY Fredonia student on her way to her student-teacher internship, is recovering from her injuries and doing much better. Not trying to extricate her from the vehicle turned out to be the right decision as she suffered from trauma to her abdomen and lungs and a concussion.
“I’m glad my nursing instinct kicked in and told me to stop and help,” Heary said. “I knew a lot more than I thought, and I’m so glad everyone is okay.”