Before she even graduated from Macomb’s Medical Assistant Program this May, Nancy Mochan was saving lives, although it’s uncertain just how many.
“I was leaving work at 2 p.m. when I pulled behind a brand new Ford F150 to exit the parking lot. I noticed the man was looking downward, like he was texting, and I gave the horn a little toot to let him know he was holding up traffic,” relates Mochan. “After a few more minutes, I pulled around and noticed he was slumped over the wheel.”
Mochan parked her car on a side street as she called 911. Waiting for the EMS and police to arrive, which, she says “seemed like an eternity but was only a few minutes,” she tried unsuccessfully to open the door of the truck. Then she tried to rouse the driver by pounding. He briefly stirred before falling limp again. A police officer was first on the scene and he busted out the window and quickly ascertained the situation. “Stay with me,” the officer yelled to the man while retrieving an orange box from the patrol car. At first, Mochan thought the man might have had a heart attack. But that orange box contained Narcan, which quickly reversed the effects of an opioid overdose.
“The man became pretty combative when he was revived and had to be strapped down to the gurney and taken to the hospital,” says Mochan. “The police officer said that I saved the man’s life. But I don’t feel like I did anything special.”
Still, just a block down from the Home Depot where Mochan works is an elementary school, and the possibility how the afternoon might have played out didn’t escape her.
“He could have killed a child or another driver on the road,” says Mochan. “His truck was still in drive, that’s why I was unable to open the door.”
Although she dismisses her recent life-saving effort as a case of being in the right place at the right time, deciding to become a medical assistant was a well-thought-out move for the former medical receptionist.
“After I was laid off after about 15 years, it appeared that “medical receptionist” was a field that was being phased out,” relates Mochan, who received tuition assistance from Michigan Works! to attend Macomb. “I enjoy working with people and helping them, but I never thought I would like working the medical end of helping patients.”
But, at Macomb, Mochan discovered she does like caring for patients, and to a greater degree than she ever thought possible.
“My experience at Macomb was great and I am very happy with the decisions I have made,” says Mochan. “I have thought a lot lately about becoming a nurse or a patient advocate. Who knows?”