“Once a nurse, always a nurse – anytime, anyplace.”
– Dr. Susan Seibert, USI Instructor in Nursing
Some Heroes Wear White Coats
On April 13, after conducting a health assessment lab for her USI Nursing students, Dr. Susan Seibert was on her way home to Posey County when she witnessed a three-vehicle accident involving a dump truck, a pick-up truck and an SUV on State Road 66 in Blairsville. As the person on the scene, the veteran nurse pulled over and grabbed her “go kit,” ready to spring into action.
Still wearing her USI clothes and white lab coat, Seibert – along with the injured dump truck driver (who was a trained volunteer firefighter) and a woman who lives at the intersection – provided first aid to the three teenagers in the demolished vehicle, keeping them immobilized and calm until the fire department arrived to extricate them.
“The two in the front were unconscious. I stabilized the driver’s neck and assessed that the front seat passenger had a pulse and was breathing,” she says. “The girl in the back seat was conscious, but in shock. Her jaw was contused, but her airway was fine.”
Seibert, who has been an Instructor in Nursing at USI for 16 years, never mentioned the incident to her students, so they were all surprised a week later when the teens and their parents visited her assessment lab on campus to thank her for being a first responder. As she wiped away tears, Seibert said she was relieved to see the North Posey students had not only survived, but were able to walk into her classroom, commenting that after the three were loaded into ambulances, she worried about their condition. “In my years as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse in neurological and cardiovascular units, I cared for many patients with similar injuries who did not fare so well,” says Seibert. “As a nurse, we don’t always know the outcomes, so this was a relief for me. A real blessing to get a hug from them.”
Seibert took the opportunity to demonstrate to the first-year nursing students how she stabilized the driver’s neck and took the pulse of the unresponsive passenger. "Why didn’t you tell us about this?” asked one of her students. “This is just what nurses do,” she replied. “Once a nurse, always a nurse – anytime, anyplace.”
Read More Articles in the Synapse Newsletter: