It was a beautiful day, both my husband and I were sitting outside amidst the cool breeze enjoying some “Dog Haus” hotdogs. Side note: If you haven’t tried “Dog Haus” I would highly reccommend it. We were both enjoying our days off work together and suddenly noticed a young woman in distress being escorted by her mother. As tears rolled down her face and she struggled to breath we knew we had to intervene.
As I approached I was slightly out of my comfort zone. I am by no means an emergency nurse and I had no diagnostic equipment on hand. Luckily I took an first responder and EMT class back in the day. As my husband, who is also a nurse, and I tag teamed the situation, all my basic emergency training flooded back.
After the incident I felt like I needed to review my emergency skill set in case anything like this ever happened. I asked myself, “Did I do everything possible I could to help this woman? Did I give proper information to the responding ambulance staff? Did I calm and reassure her mother?” My husband reassured me. Yes, we did everything in our power.
Now this story brings me here, to you. Are you prepared in case of an unexpected emergency either with strangers or with your own loved ones?
Here are the 5 most important things to remember in an unexpected emergency if you are an unlicensed personel:
- Remain calm and call 911. Be sure to give your name and location. If you feel uncomfortable you can always ask for them to stay on speaker phone until the ambulance arrives.
- Before approaching make sure the scene is safe, and NEVER move a patient unless not moving the patient would result in more harm.
- Remember the ABCs of Life Support. Open and maintain victim’s airway. Breathing restored—If victim is not breathing, then begin rescue-breathing techniques immediately. REMEMBER, to be able to perform CPR, rescue-breathing, and first aid, it is essential to be properly trained. Check online for programs in your area to keep you up to date.
- Check for bleeding and signs of shock. Apply direct pressure with a clean cloth and elevate the legs to keep blood flowing to the core. If possible, wear health care gloves to protect yourself from direct contact with blood. Remeber when you do not have gloves and proper equipment, you could be exposing yourself to blood borne pathogens and placing yourself at risk. Protect yourself first.
- Check for emergency medical identification on the victim such as an ID band and ask the patient and family for as much medical history as possible to report to EMS when they arrive.
Lets be prepared to help save lives,
**Disclaimer: We do not provide medical advice, regardless of the circumstanes. Any professional or personal recommendations are based soley on personal opinion and/or experience of the author. Any of this advice or recommendations acted upon are of your own free will. Should you chose to take action based on something you read on this website, it is at your own risk, and you agree to hold The Joyful Nurse author harmless.