Nursing students rescue ill Panamanian exchange student in SUB


The Beacon / Cabrini Rudnicki

Theresa Couchara and Kim Roman, both junior nursing students, were able to help a Panamanian exchange student, utilizing their years of nursing school education.

Cabrini Rudnicki, News Editor

On Feb. 15, two nursing students were able to apply their practices and save a fellow student when a Panamanian exchange student fainted.

Theresa Couchara and Kim Roman, both juniors, were in the Student Union Building around noon when they noticed a girl slumped on a couch.

“I went over and they were taking off her jacket and giving her air,” Kim Roman explained. “I started asking questions but no one spoke English, then out of nowhere someone came to translate.”

Couchara then joined Roman at the couches to help assist the girl.

“I saw Kim standing there and I was really confused,” said Couchara. “The girl was laying there with her head back, but in nursing school we were taught to sit them up because it promotes better breathing, so I sat her up.”

“The student was hyperventilating,” continued Roman. “We just told the translator to tell her to breathe in through her nose and out through her mouth.”

Public safety was called while the students were helping her, then the EMS arrived and escorted the student to the hospital.

“It was like a miracle,” said Couchara. The two girls described how they usually went to lunch at a noon, but decided to go that day at a little bit later.

“It was scary,” continued Roman. “I had never seen anything like that outside of clinical.”

“Everyone around us was like ‘Oh, let the nurses do their thing,’ but we didn’t even graduate. We barely knew what we were doing.”

According to the girls, the student left to the hospital with better breathing.

The Panamanian student, as well as the girl who translated for Couchara and Roman, are unknown at this time.

“We aren’t even sure of the name of the girl we saved, or the girl who helped us, but we hope they are both doing well,” said Roman.

Wilkes University Passan School of Nursing has over forty years of history. In 2016,  the school had the honor of being recognized by the Obama Administration for leading efforts to stop the prescription opioid epidemic.

Although it is unknown what program the Panamanian exchange student was a part of, Wilkes currently has a partnership with the MEDUCA-Bilinigual Panama Program in order to bring students from Panama to the United States in order to better their English speaking skills.