It was the final day of clinical for Monmouth University nursing students Madalyn Zuber and Natalia Maticke. Both sophomores finishing their first semester of clinical work, they arrived for their last day at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, New Jersey on Dec. 4, 2018. Little did they know, that was the day they would be the first on the scene to help a couple deliver their baby.
As they walked through the parking lot on their final day of work, they were met by a frantic man. He ran towards them yelling for help and pointing—his wife was giving birth in a nearby car.
“My first thought at that moment was that I needed to do my best to get the couple help right away,” said Maticke. “I knew Maddy and myself could only do so much.”
Maticke and Zuber instinctively used their nursing education and clinical skills to assist the distressed couple. After reassuring the frightened husband that everything would be OK, they assigned each other different tasks to carry out. Maticke ran inside to seek more advanced help, alerting the staff and security of the young couple giving birth in the parking lot. Zuber stayed with the couple and aided the mother.
“I could tell she was very nervous, so I told her to lay down on the seat and breathe” said Zuber. “Then I checked to see if the baby was coming. Sure enough, the mother was crowning.”
Zuber conversed with the mother and again instructed her to breathe to keep her calm while they waited for the hospital staff to arrive. Shortly thereafter, Maticke returned with the Monmouth Medical staff ready to deliver.
The nursing student duo continued to provide aid by passing gloves and other medical equipment to the staff. They watched on as the doctors and nurses went to work to safely deliver the baby and treat the mother.
Mom, baby, and even frantic dad were all stable.
“Seeing the adorable baby all wrapped up while they put him in the incubator and the look of relief on the mother’s face as they wheeled her inside was so rewarding,” said Zuber.
“Afterwards, I was shocked and I couldn’t believe how quick it happened. It was amazing that a baby was just born outside,” added Maticke. “It felt surreal.”
“I must say I was very proud of these young women for their bravery, their quick action and overall confidence in themselves,” said adjunct professor Clarese Bradley, who served as Maticke and Zuber’s clinical instructor. “It was a great moment for them, a moment I am sure these young future nurses will always cherish.”
Zuber said the experience taught her an important lesson about her future career. “I learned that when I become a nurse, and even now in school, I can’t ever expect a day to go a certain way because this field is full of surprises. I think that’s one of the best things about nursing.”