Do you ever turn off being a nurse? - page 2
Hi everybody, I was wondering if you guys are able to ever turn off being a nurse, or if you are always in "Nurse Mode". I went to a concert last weekend, POD and Linkin Park in case anybody... Read More
Feb 27, '04One of my sons came in from the local skateboard park and fell on the livingroom floor complaining that he had fallen and broken his leg while skateboarding. Being the good nurse/mom that I am, I proceeded to tell him to quit fooling around and get up off the floor. When he had finally convinced me that he wasn't kidding, I took him to my ER. It took him several minutes to convince me that he really was hurt! DOH!
Another time one of the neighbor kids came running up to my door yelling that my youngest son was hurt and had broken his leg. Again, being the good nurse/mom that I am asked two very important questions: is there any blood? Is there a bone sticking out? The answers to both questions was no so I walked over to where he was lying on the ground bellowing about how much pain he was in, looked him over and then told him to get up. He pretty much quit bellowing at that point, knowing I wasn't good for any sympathy.
Am I a bad mom or what? :chuckle
Feb 27, '04Nope, it doesn't get turned off. I sing with my congregation's praise team on Sundays. I've been called upon at least twice to assist folks who either had trouble breathing or lost consciousness.
I don't go looking to get in the midst of things, sometimes it just happens.
I, too am guilty at admiring the veins of others.
Feb 27, '04I know what you mean about checking out peoples' veins........I've been known to interrupt myself in the middle of a normal conversation, like "This weather has been so weird lately WOW WOULD YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THE ROPES ON THAT GUY!!" :imbar My family and most of my friends, of course, do NOT understand the beauty of a really nice set of veins, nor do they appreciate the artistry of IV starts as I do.
Otherwise, I'm just an ordinary bit of protoplasm walking around, doing my thing........unless, of course, a little girl gets hit by a car and I happen upon the scene, or somebody's grandpa collapses in Target, or my 12-year-old son drops a pumpkin pie fresh out of the oven on his bare feet. That's when I go into nurse mode; once the emergency is over, I say something like "Holy SH**, that was a close one!" and then slip away to the nearest restroom where I can quietly freak out.
Feb 27, '04Originally Posted by mjlrn97My family and most of my friends, of course, do NOT understand the beauty of a really nice set of veins, nor do they appreciate the artistry of IV starts as I do.
Feb 27, '04Quote from ohnurseSo true...we must be realistic about the times we live in. Having known several nurses who stopped to render aid at an accident only to be sued later for their good deeds, I am also wary. If I stop to help it's doubtful I will reveal my credentials. it's just a red flag waving to the suit happy attorneys and their clients. Call me cynical. A former coworker stopping to assist at an accident got sued successfully because the family cleaned her bloody uniform for her...constituting paid service/duty. No good deed goes unpunished. I leave EMS to EMS personel whenever possible, they know out of facility protocols and have the means to deal with situations better than a facility nurse.If I'm not at work I am not a nurse. I lived in ATL for a while and when you are there you see so many things that you can get involved in. But, I'm afraid of a lawsuit so I leave it up to the people who are getting paid. I will call 911 if I can, I've done that twice and have given the location of an accident that i see but I never get involved. I was told that if you assist someone and you don't receive payment then you will be exempt from a lawsuit, however, if you get even a glass of water at the scene you can be sued by the survivor because you received payment for your services. I don't know if this is true but I don't even test the waters.
Feb 27, '04Here is a good article w/ a case study of nurse/doc liability when volunteering help, and "Good Samaritan" laws.
Feb 28, '04I'll stop and help anytime, but wouldn't say I'm an RN, and would only give my first name and then disappear into the sunset. You can't sue someone you can't find- plus I would have to live with myself for passing them by if someone was seriously hurt. I've found though, that at an accident scene there is always someone who charges up to save the day and pushes me out of the way. FINE. I am happy to not have more work to do, and the person was taken care of for those initial few minutes.
(Male off-duty EMS both times, I'm still bitter, can you tell? )
Feb 28, '04I try to turn it off when I am off duty. I wouldn't not help someone if I saw someone who needed help, but would be glad for someone else (EMS in that type situation) to come along and take over. Some of the previous posts made me smile ~ the skateboarder one brought back memories. My kids bring "em home to me. One of their friends fell skateboarding and wacked the back of her head on the side walk and cut it open. They brought her home for me to tend. When people know you are a nurse, you don't have to go looking for things to do when you are off duty, they come to you. The little neighbor man came knocking on my door ~ holding a towel to his head ~ he had fallen off a ladder and cut his head ~ wanted to know if I thought he needed stitches. I said I thought so (he was hoping I would say no), and offered to take him to the hospital if he needed. He said his wife would take him. He came knocking the next day, to show me they had stitched him up. Funny, people come to you and ask what they should do ~ sometimes they listen (like the little neighbor man) sometimes (the skateboarding girl) they do not.
Feb 28, '04Sometimes I wish I could turn off being a nurse, but it rarely happens! (Maybe when I'm asleep.)
I've tended to many accident victims on various occassions -- car accidents, sporting accidents, people who have collapsed or fallen in stores or at events... I wouldn't consider not doing whatever I could to help if the emergency vehicles aren't there yet, and someone is obviously injured.
Nothing will stop someone from a filing a lawsuit if they are so inclined, but the good samaritan law in CA and many other states covers you if you have not been negligent in your care at the scene. In other words, you can be sued (if you leave your name), but you will not be held liable for injuries unless you do something that someone with your training/nursing education should know better than to do! (i.e. not stabilizing the cervical spine when moving an unconcsious accident victim, and he ends up quadriplegic.)
I don't believe this would cover someone volunteering at a first aid station or anything that was part of an organized event. My understanding is that it only applies to emergency events that you 'happen upon'.
And I do carry personal just in case.
Feb 28, '04Quote from jembAltho this situation is possibly second nature to ER and trauma nurses, emergency accident protocols may NOT be on the mind of the average facility nurse, which is exactly why it may be risky for those of us in the latter category to intervene.
In other words, you can be sued (if you leave your name), but you will not be held liable for injuries unless you do something that someone with your training/nursing education should know better than to do! (i.e. not stabilizing the cervical spine when moving an unconcsious accident victim, and he ends up quadriplegic.)
Although it is, IMHO, unfair for an attorney to hold a medsurg nurse accountable at the same level of an experienced paramedic or trauma nurse, a good lawyer likely could spin that to a jury... and hold the nurse accountable even for doctor related duties if he/she is so inclined. Maybe not in criminal court but think of civil court. Legal decisions in Texas have amazed me at the level of competence expected from nurses. So...count me as verrrry cynical and cautious and I urge all nurses to think hard about this issue today.
Perhaps if nurses were NOT so free and easy with offering FREE medical advice to friends, famies and neighbors, we would garner more respect and not make such easy targets either.....just some food for thought. Nurse malpractice rates in Tx are highest in the nation...we're getting sued.
We follow our own conscience when it comes to stepping in to help a victim. But we shouldn't feel guilty if we choose to let an expert handle things, IMHO.
Too many times when neighbors or my kids have brought sick/hurt kids over, etc, I've learned to do the bare minimum only ie hold direct pressure on the wound, etc., will generally be vague in my asessment, call parents and refer them to their doctor's office...as I am NOT being paid to diagnose and treat and don't wish to assume the liability. And if we are perceived as wrong in even our vague advice, I have found it amazing how quickly people we thought were our friends will turn on us. I've been scorned after I've advised a trip for an xray...after the xray proved there was none... guess I'm expected to have xray vision.<sigh>. I have lost several former friends this way because I 'cost them a doctor visit' unnecesarily .We live in that kind of a society today, unfortunately, where blame needs to be placed if everything is not perfect and correct. I have learned through the years to not share credentials nor experience outside work, and to be noncommittal to the demanding public who want my free services.
Just one nurses' experience and thoughts.Last edit by mattsmom81 on Feb 29, '04
Mar 3, '04Nope - never turn it off, but I don't announce the fact either. I do however volunteer on my rural EMS/Fire Dept and absolutely love the adrenaline rush, the lights and sirens are cool too!
Mar 3, '04Uhh....I moderate here in my spare time...does THAT answer your question??
Actually, lately I've given myself a few kicks for NOT being more pro-active in a nursing role where family members were involved. I was the first to notice my father slumped to the left in his wheelchair, and right away suspected a mild CVA, which the Nursing Home did not pick up on until the next day. Why didn't I report it? Because it was change of shift! I caught his HCA on her way out the door, and she said she hadn't noticed anything, he'd been fine all day. So, I shrugged, said to myself, "Don't be an overanxious relative," and went home!!
He wound up developing a stage 4 pressure ulcer on his left buttock due to not being repositioned in the WC often enough, or being put to bed for a nap to relieve pressure.
Then, there's my husband. When he had his stroke, the doctor let him go 18 hours without ANY fluids of any kind, because he had dysphagia. He had an IV cannula in each antecubital....I mean, HELLOOOO??? What are they there for...decoration?? When they delivered his b'fst tray, there were only regular fluids on it, which he couldn't drink. So, I had to wait until lunch time, when he finally got the appropriate diet. I wasn't around to kick up a fuss, because I had to go upstairs for a clinic appt. about my drippy sinuses/sinus headaches.
They also let him go too long without being repositioned (more than 48 hrs. in the ER), and by the time he got to a regular bed, he had a stage 2 pressure ulcer on his left buttock. Again, two kicks to me for not thinking about this! He's my husband, the guy who used to do wind sprints up and down the street....how could he develop a pressure sore??
I guess that's why the won't let nurses and doctors treat family members! Your objectivity and reasoning powers get shot to hell! :imbar