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Are Nurses First Responders?

Updated | Posted

Hi Guys,

I recently entered a contest for my wedding on facebook and was selected a a finalist among Police, Paramedic, EMT etc. I am just interested to find out if we would consider Nurses to be First Responders? From the moment patient enters any medical institution we are the ones who provide care, but often this can happen before the hospital. I understand that paramedic, police, firemen etc. are typically the first on scene but why are nurses never really given much credit beyond the four walls of a hospital?

nrsang97, BSN, RN

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg. Has 19 years experience.

First responders are the ones that are first on the scene such as police,medics,EMT, and fire fighters. We are the first line in the hospital, but not in the community.

TheNGTKingRN

Specializes in General Surgery.

Flight nurses!

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

We certainly are not trained to be First Responders.

SierraBravo

Has 3 years experience.

The only way that I can see a nurse being a first responder is if they were a flight nurse.

CT Pixie, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

No, I don't consider nurses first responders, unless the nurse is a flight nurse. Or on that rare occasion if you come upon a person in need of help, you may be the 1st responder then, but usually we aren't doing that often.

You said, ' I understand that paramedic, police, firemen etc. are typically the first on scene but why are nurses never really given much credit beyond the four walls of a hospital?"

We aren't given much 'credit' beyone the 4 walls of the hospital (or health care office etc) or as 1st responders because how often are we acting as nurses just out and about? Rarely, if ever.

I would have to concur, my best friend is a flight nurse I would definitely consider her a First Responder

FlyingScot, RN

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

ScrubADub12 said:
I would have to concur, my best friend is a flight nurse I would definitely consider her a First Responder

Nope not a first responder. The first responder is the person FIRST on the scene. Flight nurses are called by first responders or sometimes by second responders. I have functioned at all of these levels.

dirtyhippiegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage. Has 8 years experience.

I think ER nurses are sometimes considered first responders?

TransportJockey, EMT-P

Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, C-NPT, FP-C. Has 10 years experience.

dirtyhippiegirl said:
I think ER nurses are sometimes considered first responders?

The only nurses that could possibly be considered first responders would be rotor flight nurses. Or if a nurse is working in some capacity as an EMT/LEO/FF/Paramedic.

BuckyBadgerRN, ASN, RN

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

There's a WORLD of difference between a nurse and a first responder. My DH is a police officer, trained as a first responder. He arrives FIRST on the scene of 911 calls. Not nurses, not even flight nurses.

I did EMS for almost 20 years, nursing school was SO different than we I did as an EMT

dirtyhippiegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage. Has 8 years experience.

TransportJockey said:
The only nurses that could possibly be considered first responders would be rotor flight nurses. Or if a nurse is working in some capacity as an EMT/LEO/FF/Paramedic.

I had always thought they were sometimes considered first responders because they are usually the first "on the scene" for walk ins and dumps?

That Guy, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab. Has 6 years experience.

Throw a nurse into an actual first response scene and you will find your answer quickly.

FlyingScot, RN

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

TransportJockey said:
The only nurses that could possibly be considered first responders would be rotor flight nurses. Or if a nurse is working in some capacity as an EMT/LEO/FF/Paramedic.

Nope not even rotor nurses. They are requested BY the first or sometimes second responders.

I would also like to say there is a difference between being a First Responder and someone who is called a first responder for being on the scene first.

PMFB-RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

So nurses certainly can be first responders. But that would be nurses is specific jobs. For example in my job as rapid response nurse I am a first responder for any injured person in the hospital and our parking lot. So if I am responding to a call for (for example) an inpatient who had dropped their blood pressure I am not acting as a first responder. If I am responding to a call for a visitor who fell and injured themselves in the parking lot then I am acting as a first responder as I would typicaly be the first person with any medical training to arrive on scene. The 911 call is routed directly to me in those cases. Another example would be transport (ground and air ambulace) nurses who respond to scenes in the field.

Nurses who are taking care of patients in a hospital are not first responders.

I should also point out that in the rural area where I live all of the firefighters and EMS crews are volenteers who have other full time jobs. A remarkable number of them are nurses in their regular jobs. So a nurse can become a first responder, but not typicaly in their roll as a nurse.

Edited by PMFB-RN