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Headline

'What is our responsibility as student nurses in emergency situations?'

Comment

I find myself agreeing with Ryan. I was fortunate as a student in that I had received first aid training in the scouts and then from St John Ambulance. For my first year elective placement some friends and I got together and ran a First Aid at Work course for ourselves so we were certified first aiders. Students lacking this training may well not be able to respond to emergencies in the community with confidence and indeed capability. As a student I responded to two cardiac arrests and a motorcycle accident outside hospital and used skills I had gained through my First Aid training. My nursing training would not have been adequate for the pre-hospital setting. Capability is the crux of the issue as I see it. You do what you are capable of and confident to do. The Code states that a nurse must be able to demonstrate that they have acted in the patients best interest if they have provided care in an emergency. Students are not BOUND by the code but are ASSESSED by it when it comes to registration. This is why we do not wear our uniforms outside work. While an experienced A&E nurse may be excellent at pre-hospital management of an MI, a student nurse may not be. The general public will expect the same level of care from either and cannot tell the difference by simply looking. There has been talk in recent years of first aid becoming a larger part of the pre-registration nursing curriculum. I would welcome this as I'm sure would most people. My advice to concerned student nurses would be to observe the situationfrom a distance, ensure the management of the situation is adequate and that the patient is not coming to any harm. Offer advice and assistance if you think the person is in danger of harm from inappropriate treatment. If you do participate in pre-hospital care make a record of the incident and email or post it to yourself in case there are any repercussions down the line. These are difficult situations to manage even for trained, experienced, equipped professionals and there is no great expectation of student nurses to save the day. If you really want to be able to help in such situations get some training from organisations that specialise in it. Good luck and God bless!

Posted date

19 October, 2011

Posted time

9:34 pm

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