Nursing students' receive unexpected real life medical lesson - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford College nursing students' receive unexpected real life medical lesson

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John McWeeny John McWeeny
Kara Kenyon Kara Kenyon
Amanda Carr Amanda Carr
Rachel Piche Rachel Piche

By Samantha Ptashkin

ROCKFORD (WREX)- A trio of Rockford College nursing students head to the library to study up on their life-saving skills and suddenly find themselves playing a role in a real medical emergency. The lessons they learned in the classroom helped save a life.

 Last week at Colman Library, three nursing students saw a man having a seizure. They called 911, but until help arrived the man's fate rested in their hands.

"I was just taking a break from an essay I was typing up," said John McWeeny. "I just remember closing my eyes and taking a little nap."

But McWeeny's "nap" turned into a full blown seizure that left him unconscious for a couple of minutes. Luckily a group of nearby nursing students saw it happen. "At first it was like 'oh my gosh' what's going on?!" said Kara Kenyon, a junior nursing student.

But the shock quickly wore off. "Once I got over there it was just auto pilot. I just did it," Kenyon said.

"We monitored him and made sure he was breathing," said Amanda Carr, a junior nursing student.

"Then we just moved the chairs and table around to make sure he wasn't falling. We positioned ourselves on both sides of him," said Rachel Piche, a junior nursing student.

It's a procedure the girls just learned this past semester. "Things can happen anywhere, not just in the hospital setting. You just basically have to be prepared and be ready to do anything anywhere," Kenyon said.

"I'm very thankful they were in proximity of me when it happened," McWeeny said. 

McWeeny's doing fine now. He can't even remember the girls helping him, but he's glad he could spice up their lesson for the day. "I hope they learned something in the process and that the devotion to their major in the field will continue," McWeeny said.

"It felt good that I could help somebody," Carr said.

This is the second time in the past six months McWeeny has had a seizure. The first one happened in the exact same spot in the library.

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