by Hollie Daniels

This past week in my NODA Internship was quite an interesting week. Our first session of the week didn’t begin until Wednesday, but Wednesday was the most stressful day. We had a smaller group of siblings that day for Sibling Orientation and everything was going as expected until I received a phone call from one of our Orientation Leaders, which we call Avantis. (If you’re interested in the term “Avanti(s)”, you can learn more here - http://orientation.ua.edu/avanti/)

As soon as I answered the phone, I knew that something was wrong from the tone of the Avanti’s voice. She seemed nervous as she said, “Hey Hollie, uh, we’re here at the Recreation Center with the Siblings and I’m pretty sure that one girl just broke her finger…” My heart started beating a little faster and my mind raced with thoughts of what I should do. I told the Avanti to take the student to the receptionist at the Rec Center and let them know about the incident and that I would be there ASAP.

When I arrived at the Rec Center (with the waivers that all parents must sign before Siblings can participate in Sibling Orientation in hand) I spoke briefly to another Avanti that was working Sibling Orientation that afternoon and made sure that he had the group under control. Luckily, the Rec Center was the last stop of the day so he was waiting on the bus to arrive to get the Siblings back to the student union. I went into the office to check on the Sibling and my Avanti, only to find that the Sibling had recently fainted after a Physician from the Sports Medicine Clinic at the Rec had tried to pop her finger back into place. The office staff had already completed an injury report, so that was one less thing that I needed to worry about. I asked the Sibling to contact her mom and let her know about the incident (which happened during basketball), however the mother was unreachable because they had recently arrived from out of the country and her phone was not receiving calls yet. In the midst of the situation, I let my supervisor and my colleagues know what was going on. They knew that I had never been in a situation like this before, but they seemed confident that I could handle it.

I also notified a colleague that works with Parent Programs and First Year Experience (which is separate from the office that I work for, the Office of Orientation and Special Programs), however she was unable to contact or locate the mother of the Sibling due to the nature of the Parent Orientation Schedule at that point during the day. We were finally able to get in contact with the Sibling’s Aunt, who was with the mother, and we let them know that the Physician from the Recreation Center advised us to take her daughter to the Emergency Room for an x-ray. Though I was extremely nervous and trying my best to keep the Sibling calm, I drove her to the Emergency Room, helped her check in, and waited for her mother to arrive.

I had already met her mother at check in earlier in the day, so I reintroduced myself when she arrived and let her know what happened. She seemed slightly irritated (more-so at her daughter than me or the Avanti) and insisted that she would handle everything. I left her with my name and phone number and told her contact me with any questions.

Though it seems less than overwhelming typed out, I was definitely stressing out the whole time! I’m only one year into graduate school and my class on Crisis isn’t until the Spring of my second year. I’ve never had to respond to any emergencies, as my experience in higher education has been with Advising, Career Services, and First Generation College Students. My colleagues sang my praises and assured me that I handled everything in the best possible way, so that definitely made me feel better about it all. I’m thankful that I was able to respond to the situation appropriately even with my lack of experience, but I know that I have A LOT to learn in the next year.

“The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.” – Benjamin Franklin

Student Affairs - the First Years

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