Nursing students put training to the test on return flight from Disney World
Josh Sipes was watching an in-flight movie when he became aware the flight crew were asking for help assisting a woman who was experiencing a medical problem.
BISMARCK — University of Mary nursing school students Gracie Zottnick and Josh Sipes put their medical training to good use during a flight from Orlando, Florida, to Bismarck following a Christmas break vacation at Disney World.
According to information provided by the university:
Sipes was watching an in-flight movie when he became aware the flight crew were asking for help assisting a woman who was experiencing a medical problem.
"We took out our headphones, looked at each other, and asked, 'You ready?’ and then headed down in that direction," said Sipes, recalling how he and Zottnick moved to help the woman, along with several others on the flight who also had medical training, including a respiratory therapist.
“She was extremely pale and slumped in her seat,” Zottnick said of the woman, who the university described as "older."
"Josh and I both helped assess her levels of consciousness and take her vitals," she added, noting they also helped the respiratory therapist administer oxygen.
In addition, Zottnick said, she helped the woman drink some orange juice as she began regaining consciousness, "as we believed she was hypoglycemic due to not eating breakfast or lunch that day before the flight.”
Sipes and Zottnick monitored the woman's blood pressure, pain level, heart rate and respirations every 15 minutes.
Along with the other medical volunteers, they stayed with the woman until the plane landed in Bismarck, where they helped roll her into the airport using a wheelchair.
"The crew gave an announcement overhead and thanked the 'medical team' for responding to the medical emergency," Sipes said.
"As we were walking back to our seats, people were clapping, patting us on our backs, and telling us thank you for doing what we do," added Sipes, who like Zottnick is in his senior year at the University of Mary.
In addition to a shared passion for caring for others, the duo have been dating for about a year and a half, according to Zottnick.
"Josh and I met the second semester of my sophomore year in nursing school at Mary," she said. "Funny enough, we attended the same high school (Century in Bismarck), but never crossed paths until nursing school."