Would You/Do You Offer Assistance? - page 2

I was just wondering this....Last night after ER I went to take my trash out to the dumpster and saw a 1st Responder and police car (standard when someone calls 911 here) in front of a neighbors... Read More

  1. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from KellNY
    In no way would I ever try to run the show, step on toes, act like I know better or am smarter than EMS(I'm not, nor will I probably ever be, an ED nurse)
    Ack! Never! I won't try and do their jobs! I mean if EMS is on the scene - it's their show!

    Personally, being a good neighbour entails you check on them and offer assistance if they seem to be in trouble. It doesn't have to be assistance from a "nurse" - just a concerned neighbour Leaves the ball in their court - they can accept or refuse. In either case, you know you tried to help.

    I'm not judging you or anything - just sharing my views on your situation.
  2. by   AfloydRN
    I believe the good Samaritan law said something about if emergency personel is on scene that we don't need to respond. The times I have assisted have been witnessed MVA's when no EMS were present yet.
  3. by   banditrn
    I've been the 'first-responder' a few times - if EMS is there I don't stop - I don't know THEIR procedures and would just be in the way.

    A couple of years ago, late at nite on my way home from work - I live in a rural area - a minivan went off the road into a deep ditch. There were already a few people there - all looking DOWN into the ditch.

    So I had to climb my old hiney down into that ditch and check the guy out - he was already out of the van, and probably pumped on adrenaline, because the van was on it's top! I had a heckuva time just getting him to sit down so I could look at him! Luckily, I could observe no external injuries - he'd been wearing his seat belt.

    Not too long after that, an EMT arrived and hollered down "Need any help?"
    So I hollered back for him to get down there - and for some of those younger on-lookers to get my butt out of there!

    Another time - my son was still in critical care, and we had his wedding breakfast and gift opening at my house. Several members of the wedding party were critical care nurses, and we also had a respiratory therapist there.

    Our neighbors had just bought their house, and had no phone service yet - they were over there working and grandpa came to visit - and had a heart attack. The neighbor ran over to use our phone to call 911 - and got such a flood of people from my house to the scene!! Grandpa made it thru, and they still talk about that around here!
  4. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Honestly speaking from a EMS standpoint ( I am a medic and student nurse), we rather you not get involved as it just adds to the confusion and we already have plently of help as it is. This is also a patient privacy issue as well, and it makes it difficult in certain situations to get honest answers if the patient's neighbors and other bystanders are standing there listening. I am not trying to offend anyone, but to many cooks in the kitchen is no good!!!

  5. by   SCRN1
    I was taught that if you're in a situation (outside of your job) where you're giving 1st aid or CPR, you give it over to EMS when they arrive. So, this tells me that if they are already on the scene, get out of their way and let them handle it. If no one had yet arrived or if only the police were there, I would offer assistance until the ambulance got there. Even if the EMS is volunteer, aren't they required to still have the training?
  6. by   NeosynephRN
    I agree with everyone on this thread...if they are on scene, then no need to respond, unless you are going to help the family, take young children away etc. We have both Paid and volunteer fire dept's here...they both REQUIRE at least an EMT-B...and I would say 90% are actually paramedics, so they are very well trained in medical emergencies. At least here, just cause you are a volunteer does not mean you are just some random person off the street...still very highly trainned!!
  7. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from KellNY
    Oh, and just to clarify-EMS and Fire Dept are two separate facilties/departments here. They're not interchangable or even housed in the same building.

    I came up on an overturned pick up a couple of days ago. The passenger side of the vehicle was smashed in but it didn't look like an emergency. The people were standing at the side of the truck and another car had pulled up and I saw people on a cell phone, I just pulled around and kept going. Wouldn't have been a whole lot I could have done, anyway, except call for help. I would never rush in and try to save the day, I'm not trained in emergency care.
    And if there is an accident and a nurse sees an ambulance I would definitely say keep minding your own business, you will likely just be in the wayif you try to stop and intervene.
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from trudyrn
    i would have gone over, maybe out of curiosity and wanting to please my son,

    [font="comic sans ms"]dh and i are both critical care nurses. we've taught the child that only under certain (rare) circumstances do we get involved, and we (not she) will assess the situation and decide if this is one of those times. she is not to ever volunteer to anyone during an emergency that we are nurses. she may alert us to a problem that we may not have noticed, but that's as far as she goes.

    for you to go over out of curiosity is one thing, but to do it to please your son? if you don't teach your son that you are the one who will decide what (if anything) to do in an emergency, you're in for all sorts of license-endangering situations!

    sounds like a teachable moment to me -- time to teach the child that the emts are trained to handle pre-hospital care while you are trained to handle emergency room or icu or or of med-surg or whatever it is you feel most comfortable doing!
  9. by   NicoleRN07
    There were Medics there....they are perfectly capable of handling the situation. Like Grammie1 said, if you wanted to help, you could have helped out by comforting the family and keeping them out of the way of the medics.
  10. by   epiphany
    If I see an ambulance there, they don't need me.
  11. by   ritarunningfeet
    I agree with the direction of this thread, if ems is there, stay out of the way or offer comfort to the family if you know them. If they are not there then stop, but as a nurse outside of the hospital we can only do cpr, or basic first aid anyhow.
  12. by   purplemania
    I would let the EMT's do their job. They are used to working as a team. However, in another situation, like multiple victims, you could ask if they need help before reinforcements arrive.
  13. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    And.... always remember to put yourself if the PATIENT'S shoes. If that were you as the patient woud you want your neighbors and others sitting there listening to your medical history, some of which may be very private? A LOT of patients complain to me that it is very embarrassing having people that are not family there listening and watching their care.