By Jim Hayes
It would appear, that as the average age of students on the Volunteer State Campus increases, steps must be taken in order to address the occasional health emergencies which will inevitably occur.
Evidence of this need can be clearly illustrated by an incident which occurred at the school just last Thursday.
I was sitting on the second floor of Caudill Hall taking an exam when I shed my jacket. Having just gotten to school from one of my three times a week dialysis treatments, I noticed that the bandage which covered my fistula (the spot on my lower left forearm through which the dialysis machine drains, cleans and replenishes my blood) was soaked with blood.
I asked the instructor to be excused from class then asked if there was a first aid kit in the building. My instructor asked two other professors and together, they determined that no such thing existed in that building.
No problem, I thought, I’ll go over to the office of the Campus Police Department. Surely there would be one there. No such luck, and after being told rather curtly not to drip blood on the counter top (certainly a compassionate gesture on behalf of the dispatcher), I took a seat on a chair at the table.
Chief Angela Lawson brought me a towel to rest my now vigorously bleeding arm on while the dispatcher called for an ambulance.
At this point, the story takes on a Keystone Kopsish turn because while an ambulance was dispatched to Volunteer State Community College, there was already an emergency vehicle just outside the door of the Police Department.
In fact, as the second emergency crew came into the building, a member of the first crew was already unwrapping, cleaning and rebandaging the affected area.
Now, here at The Settler, we try to never pose a problem without offering some sort of solution.
Therefore, in the interest of insuring the safety of our fellow students, we propose that at a minimum, each building on campus have a first aid kit in a common, easily identified location.
In fact, a better solution would be a first aid kit on each floor or even in each classroom.
My incident did not require intervention by EMT’s. In fact, I could have handled it myself with some gauze, water and adhesive tape.
Instead, I suspect I will receive a bill from Sumner County because the EMT’s scrambled for a largely unnecessary call. This is in no way a knock on the Vol State PD. They took the proper actions.
However, this situation should never have escalated to the level where an ambulance had to be called and it wouldn’t have had a basic first aid kit been available.
It is certainly time to make simple first aid supplies available to all Volunteer State Community College students regardless of their age.