Nursing Students Get Extra Dose of On-the-Job Training

Trio of student nurses aid seizure victim found on sidewalk

Three Kent State University College of Nursing students had an unexpected opportunity to come to the aid of a person who had fallen on a sidewalk while suffering a seizure. 

The incident took place in May, as students Audrey Jokovich, Keenan Orr and Marissa Tyger were beginning their community clinical rotation in the city of Wooster, Ohio, about 45 miles southwest of the Kent Campus. 

The trio had just met for lunch with Tracy Dodson, Ph.D., MSN, RN, associate professor in the College of Nursing, who gave them their first assignment of getting to know the community where they were stationed. 

Tracy Dodson, PH.D., MSN, RN, associate professor in the College of Nursing

Since it was a nice day and many of their stops were nearby, the three decided to walk rather than drive through downtown.  

“The assignment for the clinical is to go around and find out the environment to understand where the people are coming from, who they are and why they are the way they are,” said Orr, a native of Forest, Indiana. 

As they were walking through town, they spotted a person on the ground, in obvious distress. 

“It was apparent when we saw him that it wasn’t just somebody lounging on the ground. Something was seriously wrong,” said Jokovich, of Canton, Ohio. 

The students got to work keeping the person safe by applying what they learned in nursing school. They turned the man on his side, checked his airway for breathing, and supported his head to keep him from banging it against the concrete sidewalk. Another bystander called for an ambulance, and the person was transported to a hospital for additional help.

Dodson said the three were late getting back to their designated meet-up spot, and she was wondering what had taken them so long until she heard what happened.  

“I am so incredibly proud of their quick thinking and excellent care,” Dodson said. The emergency medical responders, she said, commended the students for their actions.

All three of the students previously earned bachelor’s degrees and are enrolled in Kent State’s accelerated program, in which they will earn their Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing (BSN) in just 15 months. All three expect to graduate in December 2023.   

Orr played tight end for the Golden Flashes football team for five years and graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry/pre-med. He had considered medical school but decided to go back for his BSN.

“I wanted to be a little more hands-on and help more people. I wanted to be a little more boots-on-the-ground,” Orr said. 

The incident, Orr said, helped to solidify his choice of emergency room or intensive care nursing, as he enjoys the rush of providing emergency care. He works at Summa Health System's Akron, Ohio, hospital as a technician in the neurotrauma intensive care unit. 

He is looking forward to the flexibility of a career in nursing because he also wants to be able to head home to his family’s farm in Indiana to help during the spring planting and fall harvest seasons. 

Jokovich graduated in 2020 from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. She, too, was considering medical school and took a few years after graduation to figure out what she wanted to do before enrolling in the accelerated BSN program in August 2022. She is thinking about a career in labor and delivery, or perhaps pediatric nursing.  

“Kent State has an amazing accelerated nursing program,” she said. “I had every prerequisite I needed – everything – I was completely set up and will graduate in 15 months.” 

Tyger, of Stow, Ohio, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in pre-med/pre-podiatry/pre-dentistry in 2020 from Kent State. She then started anesthesia school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and earned her certificate as a certified anesthesia assistant, before returning to Kent State for her BSN. 

“Kent State has a really great nursing program, and I am really enjoying it,” she said. 

POSTED: Monday, June 5, 2023 09:56 AM
Updated: Thursday, July 27, 2023 03:06 PM
Lisa Abraham