Husband appaled when I chose to do nothing - page 4

Hi everyone, I'm more or less writing to see if anyone else here has had a similar situation. When out with my hubby last weekend, we went to the movies and when we walked through the side... Read More

  1. by   bobnurse
    Many nurses dont realize that there is a big difference between in-hospital care and pre-hospital care. A nurse might see 2 or 3 "patients" passed out in a building and run to help them,where a medic is concerned with why those "victims" are passed out and proceed with caution.

    Nurses feel its their "duty" to assist trauma victims or MVA's. They look at the superficial wounds, but not the kinetics of the injury. They might see a superficial frontal lac (head meets steering wheel) and thats their biggest concern, when a medics biggest concern is c-spine.

    Its important to nurses that they do not get much if any pre-hospital training. Now ER nurses get extensive training, but you are a minority. The majority of nurses lack this training.

    So be careful.........dont Judge a book by its cover.
  2. by   nurse01
    I ran into a similar situation with my then 2 yr old. I was not about to leave her unattended in a car to help someone when there was an EMT pulling up to stop. You have to pick when and where you will intercede.



    Quote from bonemarrowrn
    I used to be an EMT too. Hubby is a paramedic (that's how we met :blushkiss ). We used to stop for everything!! We were so corny. Now, not so much. And honestly, how much can you do in that situation.

    Interesting story: I was driving in a parking lot (i think it was snowy). Two old ladies were not paying attention, and turned their heads and saw me coming (i saw them and was not planning on hitting them). One of them startled, and slipped and fell. Call me heartless, but I did not stop. Reason being, I was with my 1 yr old (at the time). How was I going to be a nurse and a Mommy at the same time? I can't just drop everything to be a superhero. And then, are you stuck there until an ambulance show up?
  3. by   dollydettol
    both hubby and i do the same with the guys in the know are on the case hold back till poop hits the fan
    Quote from JacelRN
    Hi everyone,

    I'm more or less writing to see if anyone else here has had a similar situation.

    When out with my hubby last weekend, we went to the movies and when we walked through the side hallway, a girl was sitting on the stairway with her head between her knees and leaning over. There was a young man there beside her and a security guard crouching in front of her with a walkietalkie. My first instinct was to see if she needed help but at the exact time I thought this, the security guard said "The ambulance is on its way." I later realized that what I did was a visual assessment. She was not bleeding profusely or anywhere I could see, she was not convulsing on the floor, nor was she unconscious or not breathing. If I was to take a stab at what the problem was, I would guess nausea or diabetic problems. Heck, she may have even been pregnant and had some bad popcorn! Overall, her condition was stable in my eyes.

    Anywho, I walked by slowly to be sure I was sound in my decision and said to my hubby, "she'll be ok." We walked up the stairs and I noticed him look back again over his shoulder.

    Later in the weekend, he told me that he was weirded out by me not stopping to help. I logically explained everything as I did above but he still didn't get it.

    To his credit, he did say later "I can understand how you wouldn't want to be a nurse that night." Congratulations! Bingo. Now if any of the above criteria was present, I would have been there in an instant, assessing and intervening.

    Anyone else been thought of as a superhero on duty 24/7?

    As always, looking for another nurse to lean on.

    JacelRN
  4. by   JustMe
    Quote from errn7
    Maybe I am cynical or something. But unless I am on duty, I walk away going on about my business. The woman who "vaulted over three pews" probably has "RN" on her license's plate. There is the "good samaritan" law but are you willing to be the one that puts it too the test? I deal with "dudes and dudetts" everyday for 12 hours. When I am out on my time.....its just that my time.
    Now before I get "flamed to death".......if its a TRUE and I repeat TRUE emergency .....ie choking or cardiac arrest etc..... I'm there lending a helping hand.
    I have "RN" on my license plate, but I can't see myself vaulting over pews to help. I'm more like "JacelRN"--do a quick visual assessment then go on about my business if things are under control. I was at the scene of an MVA to help out until the medics arrived. Trauma isn't my thing but an off-duty paramedic was also there taking charge, thank goodness. Also, we were at an "adult" show in Las Vegas when one of the dancers went flying off the stage and landed on the floor below. I already had two drinks in me--I wasnt' going to be any help to anybody! :chuckle A paramendic and an ER nurse were also in the audience and helped until the medics arrived. Are medical people the type to congregate at these events???
  5. by   tntrn
    I used to have RN on my license plate, but changed it after a fireman told me I could be help liable if I was seen bypassing a scene.

    As far as helping when I'm not on duty, my DH is an airline captain and he knows that when I'm on board and if there's a pregnancy related emergency, I'm in charge. I told him his job would be to tell any docs aboard that they were to help me. He look a long look and said, "you're not kidding, are you?" I said, "totally not kidding. I need to assess the pregnant woman AND the doctor's qualifications. Unless I have a OB, maybe a family doc, or a veteranarian, chances are they haven't done any pregnancy related care since med school." You can bet big bucks I've caught more babies that they have and more recently too. You can also bet that they'll be happy to let someone else call the shots. On airplanes, the captain must always connect to Medlink or some kind of medical aid by radio and confer with them. If there is medical help on board, the care is somewhat coordinated, depending on the situation, where the airplane is, where the nearest divert site is or whether "pressing on" is in order.

    Several months ago, he did have a situation where he said he needed me. I wasn't there. Too long a story to report, and privacy prevents me from giving more details, other than it involved a 28 weeker with suspected PROM, who did in fact deliver about 2 weeks later, away from home.
  6. by   mattsmom81
    I have had to instruct my hubby AND son to NOT advertise that I am a nurse. The liability out there is just too pervasive.
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Feb 24, '05
  7. by   Reborn
    Quote from ruby vee
    one young woman vaulted over three rows of pews (in her short dress and high heels) to do the "shake and shout." i kid you not, she was shaking old betsey and shrieking "annie, annie are you ok?" so many parishiners called 911 their switchboard was jammed!


    they're everywhere, they're everywhere
  8. by   talaxandra
    A colleague and I were walking to work one evening after dinner. About a block away from the hospital she said "Is that a person on the ground?"
    As we got closer we saw a woman lying on the pavement (in recovery position). A gentle poke between the shoulder blades got no response, nor did a shoulder shake, so I called for an ambulance on a passerby's mobile phone. Even though I told them she was breathing but unresponsive I was asked "does her breathing seem normal? What colour is her skin?" but when I said I was a nurse that stopped.
    Kind passerby and his phone move on while my colleague and I wait for an ambulance. Then the woman starts to sit up. I've called an ambulance out, so she can just stay put, thanks very much! So we lie her back down again, wondering how much longer it's going to be.
    Up roll the ambos - the one in the passenger seat jumps out, looks at our 'patient' and yells "It's Judy!" to the driver. He yells at the patient "Get up Judy, or I'm calling the cops!" then turns to us and says "She's a recidivist, a serial ambulance abuser!" :chuckle
    As we walked away, I said to my friend "Well, that's our good deed for the day done, then" as behind us the words "I'm serious, Judy! I've got my phone out... I'm calling the cops NOW!" drifted through the night air!

    Another colleague of mine was travelling overseas with her (academic nurse) husband. Thirty minutes into an eight-hour flight a call comes over the PA for medical staff. After no other response my colleague got up and headed to the front of the cabin, to find a prostrate passenger surrounded by flight attendants. One was blowing air in the general vicinity of her mouth, as though she were blowing out candles. The other one looked up at my colleague and said "Thank god you're here! I can't do this pumpy-pumpy thing!" 'Pumpy-pumpy' being the ineffective patting motions she was making just below her clavicles. :uhoh21:
    When my colleague knelt down and started feeling for a carotid pulse the 'pumpy-pumpy' woman yelled "What are you doing! That's not where her heart is!"
    Uh-huh.
    Turns out she not only was breathing but also had an output, so it's a good thing they had no idea what they were doing or she'd have had a real code on her hands!
    My favourite part of the story? When the captain was unhappy to turn the plane around, because surely my colleague could take care of this unconscious-for-no-known-reason, no-relatives-or-friends-on-board, no-medical-history, no-equipment patient for the next seven hours!
  9. by   paytonsnana
    In a case where there is sufficient persons on the scene, you know EMS is on the way, the best thing a person can do is to STAY OUT OF THE WAY. You did the right thing. Too many people can cause more trouble than they can help.
  10. by   tntrn
    "When the captain was unhappy to turn the plane around, because surely my colleague could take care of this unconscious-for-no-known-reason, no-relatives-or-friends-on-board, no-medical-history, no-equipment patient for the next seven hours!"


    As the wife of one such captain, I can tell you the captain was THE MOST concerned person on board that aircraft. DH has been flying for almost 40 years (can you say retirement while you pray the retirement won't have been gutted by management?) and his stories tell a lot.

    With such an emergency on board, the Captain has to communicate with MedLink and they decide together whether or not the flight will press on or turn back. Now, turning back involves lots of other problems, not just the medical situation on board. There's the matter of an aircraft that is fully loaded and will have to dump fuel before it can safely land. That procedure is not done at the push of a button since it must be done over water or over other areas where the population is sparse if possible. It also is not something that is done quickly, because you're talking about thousands of pounds of fuel. This, of course, is a major expense to the airline and only one of the reasons why management will later try to make the captain the one solely responsible for having made the decision.

    In addition, the management of that airline (doesn't matter which one, they'll all be fussing over it in the same way) will grill the captain over his decision, which ultimately is his, since he's the Pilot in Command. If he turns back, the management will pressure him to take the flight out again once the medical emergency is off-loaded, and it might take him over his legal flight time. Managements HATE to call in a reserve crew, so they'll wriggle any way they can to convince this crew it's still theirs to take. )Again, more expense to call in the reserve crew. Why do that when you've already got a crew on board, never mind that it may be illegal according to the FAR's for them to take the flight at this point.)

    The other passengers won't all be very understanding and some will be downright nasty about the delay. Some will try to sue the airline for disrupting their flight.

    The captain might even be called to task at a later time over this incident because management doesn't like a PA announcement he made (while he's making many very important decisions all at once. Those include the safely of not only the person having the medical problem, but up to 360 other people on board. This can result in a temporary grounding of the captain and even a loss of pay, then an appeal and all kinds of mental anguish over something that originally came from a professional just trying to do his job in the best way he knew how in the given situation. (The appeal was won, BTW and pay restored.) Ask how I know. My personal captain was grounded, not because he did what he and Med Link and a "qualified" (you have only their word for that) medical person on board decided together and pressed on. They were mid-way into a 5 hour flight and turning back would have gained no time whatsoever, and they were mid-Pacific. The company decided to slap his hands over a simple PA announcement made out of frustration and never once did he and his crew get any credit whatsoever for the way the medical emergency was handled. The PA announcement had no profanity but the company felt it was "inappropriate." For normal times, perhaps. Anyway, this particular management had been accused by other labor groups in the company that they were too soft on the pilot group, so they jumped on the chance to spank the No. 3 captain, make an example out of him. It kind of backfired on them, in that he used to be really willing to help them out in a pinch, but no longer.

    In many ways, hospital management teams are just like airline management teams. They all go to the same school and learn the same nasty little tricks to keep the worker bees in their proper places.

    My flight attendant friends have told me stories of in-flight ME's and while they are performing CPR, other passengers are actually trying to walk over them to get to the bar!
  11. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from tntrn
    As the wife of one such captain, I can tell you the captain was THE MOST concerned person on board that aircraft. DH has been flying for almost 40 years (can you say retirement while you pray the retirement won't have been gutted by management?) and his stories tell a lot.
    Wow, tntrn! I had NO idea it was like that, so thanks for posting. Doesn't seem to make sense that the captain should get in trouble for taking proper care of an emergency, does it.

    I don't fly very often, but I'll keep your post in mind when I fly from now on.
  12. by   Lavslady
    Many, many years ago, my (then) husband and I were on a flight to LasVegas. Over the intercom came the "Are there any Doctors or Nurses on board?" I slumped down in my seat and looked around me, there was one man sitting near me who said he was a Doctor. I listened as the stewardess explained that they thought one of the passengers was having a heart attack. The Doc told her "Well, do CPR, I'm not that kind of Doctor." She looked around and asked if there was any other medical personel aboard. I cautiously half-raised my hand, and said "I'm a Nurse...but I work labor and delivery." To make a long story short, the man survived through the efforts of me and the stewardess, and United Airlines sent me a nice Thank-You note and an umbrella. I never quite understood the umbrella gift...unless they meant it for me to CMA when on flights with a Doctor who wouldn't do anything.

    But to the OP, you did just the right thing...Visual assessment and stay out of the way.
  13. by   bobnurse
    Quote from Lavslady
    Many, many years ago, my (then) husband and I were on a flight to LasVegas. Over the intercom came the "Are there any Doctors or Nurses on board?" I slumped down in my seat and looked around me, there was one man sitting near me who said he was a Doctor. I listened as the stewardess explained that they thought one of the passengers was having a heart attack. The Doc told her "Well, do CPR, I'm not that kind of Doctor." She looked around and asked if there was any other medical personel aboard. I cautiously half-raised my hand, and said "I'm a Nurse...but I work labor and delivery." To make a long story short, the man survived through the efforts of me and the stewardess, and United Airlines sent me a nice Thank-You note and an umbrella. I never quite understood the umbrella gift...unless they meant it for me to CMA when on flights with a Doctor who wouldn't do anything.

    But to the OP, you did just the right thing...Visual assessment and stay out of the way.
    I dont do much traveling anymore since i got married, but when i was single, i did a lot of traveling, especially to vegas, and told the airlines I was a nurse-medic, and always got 10-20% discount off my ticket. I wonder if this is still possible?

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