Every day that I drive to and from work I take a particular commuter road I like to call the Redneck Raceway. You can bet there is a daily accident that backs traffic up for miles. Driving on this road is dangerous. I always told my spouse "one of these days someone on a cell phone/curling their hair/popping their pimples is going to cream me..I just know it!"
Well it finally happened. A few days before Christmas I was put right in the middle of a 6 car pile up. The engine to my car was nearly in the cab and I was briefly knocked unconscious. Somehow I managed to climb out of my car and run to the side of the road to avoid being hit again. Panic, fear, pain, all kinds of emotions start flowing as I think about the fact I was nearly decapitated. In the middle of my panic attack someone walks up to me, a woman, mid forties. She gives me the biggest, most sincere hug I have ever felt. A sense of calmness came over me. She says "I'm a nurse. You are going to be ok." I have never felt more relieved.
She hugged me for what seemed like an eternity. That was ok with me because it meant I didn't have to watch the ensuing chaos around me. I felt guarded, protected. How did she know I needed this consolation more than I needed oxygen?
This nurse had been a few cars back and had witnessed the accident. The next person behind her, an ER physician. Someone was certainly watching over me. I have always been the person to stop and offer assistance to those that might be scared or injured, even before I became a nurse.
After reading a few posts on here I often contemplated NOT stopping for reasons we have all mulled over. After my experience I will without any doubt, always stop and offer hugs... and CPR. I want to encourage my colleagues to do the same. It is amazing how something as simple as a hug can be so powerful. I am forever thankful for that nurse. I often think about her when I'm driving to work on the RR and start to feel anxious. I just wish I knew her name so I could thank her.