Students in Signature Programs Use Life-Saving Skills in the Community

Life Saving Students
Shawnee Mission School District

The life-saving skills of Signature Program students are already helping people in our community.

Three Shawnee Mission students have jumped into action to help people having medical emergencies. Each of these students say they knew what to do because of what they learned in their classrooms and simulation laboratories. Click here to see the video.

Avery Daugherty, Shawnee Mission South Senior, Medical Health Science Student 
Recently Avery Daugherty, a senior at Shawnee Mission South, was able to use the life-saving skills she learned in class to help an instructor in distress. She is enrolled in the in the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class at the Center for Academic Achievement.

Daugherty has dyslexia and when she took her ACT exam, Bill Miller, served as an assistant reader. While taking the exam, Daugherty noticed that Miller was suddenly quiet and was staring into space rather than reading the next test question.

Using CNA skills, Daugherty noted the time and calmly asked Miller several questions, noting that stroke or seizure victims typically lose short-term memory. She asked him, “Where are we?” and “What did you have for breakfast?”

When he gave her vague responses, Daugherty dialed 9-1-1. Daugherty shared the details of Miller’s condition with the emergency operator. She remained with him until emergency responders could provide further assistance.

A group including Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), two firefighters, one policeman and one school resource officer, and two Shawnee Mission South administrators arrived on the scene. Daugherty was sure to keep her presence in Miller’s sight since she was his “safe person” among all the strangers. Daugherty rode in the ambulance with Miller to the hospital and waited for his wife to arrive.

One of the EMTs asked Daugherty about her future plans noting that she has the perfect demeanor and knowledge to pursue a career in healthcare. Daugherty attributes her Medical Science and CNA classes for preparing her for this emergency.

“I learned I could be calm in a tense situation or when other people were panicking,” Daugherty said. “I know what to do, what details to take care of like watching the time or reassuring the patient.” Daugherty plans to join the Navy and earn her nursing degree through the Reserve Officers Training Corps.

Miller was later informed he had had a seizure. He is now on medication and has since helped Daugherty complete her ACT test.

Karen Henriquez, Shawnee Mission North Senior, Medical Health Science Student
A guest ran into a restaurant while Karen Henriquez was serving as a hostess. The guest was panicked because a patron was on the ground.

Henriquez did not hesitate to go outside to offer assistance.

First, she assessed the situation, took the patron’s pulse, noticing her eyes were dilated. She also noticed the patron had a wristband on from a hospital and the was wearing hospital-issued socks.

Henriquez remained calm and asked the patron questions while helping make her feel comfortable and assess the level of emergency.

The patron’s son called 9-1-1 and the EMTs arrived shortly to take the patron to the hospital. Before leaving, the son came to host desk to personally thank Henriquez for her professional and confident care.

“All the practice we receive in the Simulation Lab prepared me this real-life situation,” Henriquez said. Henriquez will attend the School of Medicine at UMKC in the fall. She is pursuing a degree as a Physician’s Assistant.

“Our high school students learn the medical terminology and get to practice a variety of skills in our Sim Lab that parallels post-secondary institutions,” Connie Gandy, Medical Science instructor said. “Given the tools and training, they can help save lives.”

Noah Goodwin, Senior at Shawnee Mission Northwest, Project Blue Eagle student
One evening an older gentleman came into the sandwich where Noah Goodwin works, saying he did not know where he was. Goodwin says techniques he learned in basic life support CPR class helped him know how to respond.

Goodwin offered the man a seat and a bottle of water. Goodwin began to ask questions to help access the situation. He was trying to determine the man’s name and assuring him he was going to be fine and then called 9-1-1.

The EMTs arrived and took the man to the hospital.

His instructor, Peter Bailes said trained bystanders can be the most important difference in saving lives.

“Statistics show the sooner CPR is started, the better chances for survival,” Bailes said. The more people who know CPR, the more lives that can be saved.”

Goodwin plans on a pursuing a career as a firefighter.