Central College News

Featured: Getting the Job Done in Wales

April 2, 2014
AT students

Bryanna Pierce ’15 and Hayley Mullins ’15 practice their emergency medical skills.

This spring, two of Central’s athletic training students discovered just how valuable the skills they have learned for their major are. While studying abroad in Wales, Hayley Mullins ’15 and Bryanna Pierce ’15 needed to draw on their knowledge of athletic training and emergency medical skills not once, but twice to help the people around them.

It all started with a field trip for an Outdoor Pursuits class in February. “We were mountain biking and going down a very difficult downhill path with a lot of rocks. One of our classmates was going down the path and flipped over her handlebars, landing on her wrist,” says Mullins.

When Mullins and Pierce saw the girl down, they both immediately went over to help. After examining her wrist, they determined she had a sprain. Mullins and the rest of her group went with the girl to the hospital, where the diagnosis was confirmed. Pierce stayed behind with the other half of the group—a move that proved to be a better idea than she realized at the time.

As the group headed back to the base from which they had left earlier in the day, the bus stopped suddenly. A man lay sprawled in the middle of the road having just been involved in a motorcycle accident. The leader of the group motioned to Pierce to grab the first-aid kit, knowing she had training in emergency medical care.

“As I arrived on the scene my body soared into action,” explains Pierce. “When I reached the man lying on his side, I asked him if he could hear me, and explained that I was going to stabilize his head while his pulse was being checked and blankets put over him.”

The man was in great pain, but Pierce reassured him and told him not to move. Another man from a mountain rescue team joined Pierce, checking the man to see if there was anything noticeably wrong to tell the paramedics about. Pierce asked him questions to test his mental abilities and keep him distracted.

The paramedics arrived shortly and were relieved to see Pierce had stabilized the man’s spine. Upon examination, the man had a broken leg, broken femur, a dislocated shoulder and a concussion from his fall, as well as cuts from broken glass. With Pierce assisting, they were able to stabilize the man and get him safely into the ambulance.

“You never know when your major will come in handy,” says Pierce, shaking her head over the experience. “I have to thank the athletic training program for everything it has taught us in a short time. Without the extensive emergency training that the athletic program provides we would not have had the knowledge or confidence to help the people we did.”