Had an interesting experience when I took my sister and BIL to Portland International this morning: as I was pulling into the terminal, we saw a woman lying on the ground with several people standing around, looking frantic. Of course, I'd rather NOT have to be a nurse on my days off, but there were no EMS around, and these people looked like they had no clue as to what to do, so I jumped out of the car and ran to the scene. The poor lady, who was of indeterminate late middle age, had just been pinned between two cars and had sustained probable crush injuries from the hip to the knees....it didn't appear that she'd lost much blood, but as I assessed her she started to shiver violently and I knew right away she was going into shock---her pulse was rapid and thready, and she was beginning to fade out. There was a bystander who volunteered his recently-acquired CPR skills if needed, so I knew we could keep her going if we had to, but at the same time I was hoping we wouldn't have to!
So I yelled for someone to find me something to cover her with, and luckily another bystander had a couple of fleece blankets in his truck.....otherwise, there wasn't much I could do for her except hold her hand and keep her talking, and thank goodness someone had already called EMS, because they got to the scene about two minutes after I'd arrived and took over from there. Now I'm back home, hoping she's OK, because she was beginning to look pretty bad just before the paramedics got there..........and I'm wondering, does everybody
here feel that being a nurse requires them to assist at accident scenes, or whenever they see someone in distress?
I don't mean when there's an ambulance on the scene and the REAL experts are available---I figure the EMTs are a whole lot better equipped and better trained in emergency situations than I am---but when it's obvious someone is in trouble medically and you can't tell whether anyone at the scene is trained to deal with it? I wanted nothing more than to get my people to the terminal---we were running late anyway---park my car, and get some lunch before they had to board, but I just couldn't NOT stop to see what was going on and try to help.
In these lawsuit-happy times (despite "Good Samaritan" laws that help protect first responders, nurses are still held to a higher standard than the average guy-on-the-street), I'm always nervous about treating strangers, even though I've rarely had occasion to do so. But again, I can't just walk away......and yes, I have to admit it made me feel pretty darn good to leave a scene knowing I've helped, if only a little.