MCCN Student Saves a Life while stopping for coffee

When senior Leah Howlett pulled into the drive-through of her favorite cafe , she had no idea that she would get a lot more than coffee. Here, in her own words, is her account of the moment when “the nursing instinct” kicked in and she moved from cafe customer to nurse in action.

I was getting coffee before class at a little cafe. As I pulled away from the drive-through, I heard someone screaming. I was about to pull away, but something told me I should make sure everyone was okay.

I walked to the back of the cafe and saw one of the workers lying on the ground yelling in pain. First thought: did he fall or is he having a heart attack? I grabbed a chair and helped the other worker pull him onto the chair.

I ran to my car and grabbed my emergency kit, which includes pulse ox, BP cuff, stethoscope, pen light, baby aspirin, gauze, Band-Aids, etc. I called 911, then ran back to get his vitals/ check pulses/do a mini assessment.*

When the paramedics arrived, I gave them a little report of what happened and they looked at me like, “How do you know this stuff?” So I told them I go to Mount Carmel College of Nursing and I work in the ICU ( as a unit coordinator and patient care assistant), and they said, “Oh Mount Carmel!

So that’s why you’re so prepared!”

* The update Howlett obtained on the injuries sustained by the person she assisted at the coffee shop: fractured ankle and wrist, torn ACL, and several spiral fractures on the distal portion of his left femur.

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