Accident Scenes: Do You Always Offer Assistance? - page 2
Ok, so I have read what many have felt their obligation would be on the scene of an accident, but what would you do if you caused the accident, hitting a pedestrian, country road, EMS 10 minutes or... Read More
Oct 12, '12I agree with those who have posted that they do not stop to assist if EMS is on scene. When I see EMS working a scene, I do feel a strong desire to stop and "help." Just part of being a nurse, I guess. However, while my intentions in stopping may be good, my offer of help will only create a distraction; I will just be a nuisance, and they already have enough on their hands without the added problem of dealing with me.
Oct 12, '12When I saw this post I was hoping the OP was not involved in the accident, I was hoping they would answer........As an ED nurse, a paramedic and a flight nurse......no further assistance is necessary if fire,police, and, EMS are present.
If I come across an accident scene and EMS is present they don't need me. If I come across an accident I will call 911 and get EMS en route. I will stop...but for the most part there is nothing you can do....you can't extricate, you can't intubate. You can render first aid or CPR until EMS comes. You can't move them without proper immobilization but you can prevent them from being moved. Youcan keep them calm until the proper authorities arrives with the proper equipment to transport and move the patient.
The "lawful" requirement to stop varies state to state....the ethical and moral reason to stop is without question.
Oct 12, '12Quote from CountyRatThanks for your feelings of wanting to stop & help. You are right, however, on being a potential distraction if you actually do stop at the scene.I agree with those who have posted that they do not stop to assist if EMS is on scene. When I see EMS working a scene, I do feel a strong desire to stop and "help." Just part of being a nurse, I guess. However, while my intentions in stopping may be good, my offer of help will only create a distraction; I will just be a nuisance, and they already have enough on their hands without the added problem of dealing with me.
I ran EMS for 19 years, and encountered a number of "interesting" people. One of these folks claimed to be a paramedic from out of state. The incident commander on scene from 10+ years ago (not me, by the way!) allowed that person to apply a KED to the pt. The "paramedic" put it on upside-down. FAIL.
I also had a person claiming to be physician show up on a full arrest scene. After he was able to provide evidence supporting his claim (physician license card in wallet), I allowed him to participate in pt care (pt had an unstable airway, and the doc tubed the pt for us). Being the non-trusting soul that I am, I also had the doc ride to the hospital with us (so he couldn't "treat & bail") in the back of the medic unit.
Whether you'd be of value on a scene or not, it is almost certain that by showing up, you will distract the crews from performing needed pt care.
If you really feel the draw of helping on EMS scenes, you might consider getting certified as an EMT or EMT-Paramedic. One of our local trauma center docs actually got certified as an EMT/Firefighter, and performed in that role as a volunteer.
Oct 13, '12I am an EMT and the vast majority of the time anyone other than EMS personnel will be asked to leave anyway. You are not trained to safely package a patient for transport and in the case of a spinal cord injury (which is very plausible in a MVA) you run more risk of causing damage. Even as an EMT if EMS was not on scene I cannot do much. I witnessed an accident once. Not involved, but pt fell asleep at the wheel. Obviously, with them being right in front of me I was first on scene. Still, all I could do was take a brief history and hold c-spine on one of the two patients until help arrived.Without a second pair of hands you are pretty useless even as an EMT.
Oct 13, '12Personaly I would stop, call 911 and do what ever is critically necessary (airway, bleeding etc). I think that it is a moral responsibiity.
I live in a small town and it may a little bit before EMS arrives. Once they are there, if needed I will assist, if not, I'm on my way. I have a great professional relationship with local FD and they know/respect my abilities, as I do theirs.
Not gonna get into a debate re EMT being more qualified...if I am the only one there I am the MOST qualified, until EMS arrives. If am involved, I am certainly hanging around till the PD arrives.
Oct 13, '12Quote from LCinTrainingAs an EMT, I appreciate that brief history and even more so someone that knows how to properly hold a c-spine and does so.Still, all I could do was take a brief history and hold c-spine on one of the two patients until help arrived.
Oct 14, '12If I'm to render assistance, I clearly know it as the situation arises. In these cases, there's an undeniable "pull" that brings me to the scene. The times I didn't feel that "pull" I hung around and was useless, even getting in the way of others. I have been to many scenes, some gruesome. The times that "pull" was clear as the day, my services were necessary without a doubt or second guess. I guess one could say it's not for "me" to decide, but go where I am clearly "pulled."
Oct 14, '12No, this is not a homework project, but the reality of a parent having lost a 15 year old child and an RN driver that did not so much as take his pulse! The majority here have said they would render whatever assistance they could in the absence of EMS, which in my case was 16 minutes arriving, too late to do anything. They were delayed because the driver couldn't communicate her location, even though it was only 1 mile from her own home.
Quote from JD'sMomOk, so I have read what many have felt their obligation would be on the scene of an accident, but what would you do if you caused the accident, hitting a pedestrian, country road, EMS 10 minutes or more away, obvious head injury, face down on roadway. You're an RN in fact studying for MSN, do you have an obligation to render assistance or at least do an evaluation based on your medical knowledge?
Oct 14, '12I am so sorry for your loss. I can't begin to even imagine the pain of it for you and yours. I hope you find some comfort and peace.
I, nor can anyone here, answer for this person on what they did or didn't do or why.
I would hope if I had been in an accident that caused injury to a person that I would be able to act in a manner that would at the very least support the victim till advance support arrived. This should happen regardless of skill level. This should happen because it the thing we do as humans.
Bless you and I hope you have support for yourself and your loved ones.
Oct 14, '12Thank you. All I can say, to anyone that wonders what they should do in such a situation, is to at the very least, be there for the victim. Worse than learning my child was gone, was the realization that he had died face down in the roadway, without anyone ever touching him, not even to offer comfort as one human being to another. Then to find out this person was an RN, and had not done any form of evaluation, just took my disbelief to a whole other level. I couldn't treat an animal that way, much less a child.
Oct 14, '12I can't imagine the horror of what you are going thru. I'm so very sorry. All I can offer is that even as RNs we can panic when we are personally involved in an accident.
I do pre-hospital care as a volunteer on a fire dept and I've been on the scene of many accidents over the last 13 years where there was a medical person, either nurse, doctor, medical asst, etc., and yes, even these folks panic when involved in something so personal.
I can only offer that which I'm sure is little to no comfort. Please take care of yourself.
Oct 14, '12Quote from JD'sMomThe is NOTHING I can say to ease your grief. No one can predict what they would do when place in a horrible position and panic takes over. I am so sorry for your loss.Thank you. All I can say, to anyone that wonders what they should do in such a situation, is to at the very least, be there for the victim. Worse than learning my child was gone, was the realization that he had died face down in the roadway, without anyone ever touching him, not even to offer comfort as one human being to another. Then to find out this person was an RN, and had not done any form of evaluation, just took my disbelief to a whole other level. I couldn't treat an animal that way, much less a child.
I pray that somehow you and your family can find some semblance of peace.
Oct 14, '12Thank you both for your kind words. I don't know if it was pure panic, or something else altogether. Impairment and attentiveness are in question. All of that aside, I am not the kind of person to carry hatred, as I now long for the hereafter, where I can see and hold my beautiful son again, so I am doing my best to hold myself and my family together.
I appreciate your candor, as I am trying desperately to understand, but knowing that I was on the opposite end of the street, having come home from a meeting three miles away, my child not there, and seeing the lights down the roadway, and I had called him over and over on the phone, and all his friends. Finally the police came down on my end of the street and I rushed to find if he could answer my question of whether or not there was a skateboard or bike involved. He confirmed my worst fears. I remember crying, but not screaming, as my mind was racing 100 mph, trying to think of what I needed to do, to reach my older child, who had driven out looking for him, and get her off the streets before she found out from someone else, and to reach my husband, who was attending a seminar. It was horrible, but I didn't panic. I remember thinking that maybe they had made a mistake...
I just can't fathom watching someone bleed to death, when you have the knowledge or the skills to do SOMETHING!