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Nesmith shares job with students

A special landing occurred on Thurs. at the Coastal Alabama Community College campus.

In an effort to motivate the nursing students, a helicopter and full staff from Lifeflight landed on the green in front of the main campus building.

Students, faculty and staff gathered as the helicopter made its descent.

Arriving around 12:20 p.m., the aircraft brought with it Lifeflight staff including Jessica Nesmith, adjunct nursing teacher, full time lifeflight nurse, and alumnus of CACC.

“Yes this is my full time job,” said Nesmith, moments after landing on the campus.

“We do two 24 hour shifts a week. We come in at 7 a.m. in the morning and get off at 7 a.m. the next morning,” explained Nesmith. “I also teach adjunct here at the school,” she added.

Delayed by an emergency call, Nesmith gracefully switched gears from emergency nurse to nursing instructor once on the ground. Encouraging students to explore the aircraft, Nesmith pointed out every detail of the air ambulance.

“This lets them see what we do. Many people do not know what helicopter EMS is,” said Nesmith.

Referred to as “Bringing the ICU to you,” the Lifeflight unit included many air medicine resources. “A lot of the students are interested in doing this. If you roll out of school and start in critical care, you can get the experience you need to do this job,” said Nesmith.

Currently there are 150 nursing students enrolled in the program according to the Nancy Mathews, nursing faculty at the college.

Excited for the opportunity for her students, Mathews shared why these demonstrations are so important.

“This motivates them, especially the seniors. This time of year, everyone gets down and nursing school is hard! This really gets them excited about school,” said Mathews.

Moving the classroom outside for the day, Mathews enjoyed watching her students engage the aircraft. Mathews shared, “Everybody you see in the maroon colored scrubs are the fundamental students that I teach. Just the thought of this will keep them going because it is so exciting!”

Serving for 31 years as a nurse, Mathews has found her niche in the classroom, but is thankful for those like Jessica that can serve in the diverse field of nursing.

She explained, “There are people that are meant to be at bedside and some that are meant to be on Lifeflight like Jessica. I am meant to teach,” said Mathews

Outside the classroom, Nesmith leads an adrenaline filled nursing life. “It is so much fun, it really is a great job,” exclaimed Nesmith. In an effort to expand the minds of the CACC students, Nesmith hopes to continue this demonstration at the college.

Thankful for the partnership, Brewton Campus Director Dennis Fuqua said, “We are very thankful to provide this enriching opportunity for our students on the Brewton Campus. We look forward to a prolong partnership with Lifeflight to offer this for students in future classes.”