You are a nurse. You are out in public, going about your business and you see a person in distress, or a situation where someone has been harmed or injured in some way.
What would you do?
I had a conversation with some fellow nurses yesterday that I found kind of surprising. Someone was cursing their husband for telling her son’s little league team that she was an ER nurse. Now the coach wanted her to volunteer to run the first aid station at some of the games.
“I never tell anyone I’m a nurse,” she says.
The other nurse agreed and said that she never wears her scrubs home when taking the subway, because she would be expected to help if something went wrong.
Now, I understand where this mentality comes form. Everyone’s afraid of liability. Everyone’s afraid of losing their license if something goes wrong.
Call me naive and idealistic, but if I saw someone in distress, or someone who had been harmed, it would take wild hungry pit bulls to keep me from helping them. You see, it’s kind of why I became a nurse in the first place. Not only is there something so infinitely rewarding about being able to help someone in a crisis situation, I also consider it to be my duty. And I may not have the type of first-line emergency skills that many ER nurses and EMTs have but I’ll tell you what I can do. I can hold pressure to stop someone from bleeding. I know BLS and if there’s an AED around I can set it up, calmly and quickly. I can hold someone’s hand, talk them through the situation and try to keep the scene calm until the EMTs get there.
And if you’re still afraid, well, there is something to protect you. It’s called The Good Samaritan Law.
I’m proud to be a nurse. Sure I may do my share of complaining about all the menial stuff, but in the end, I have pride in who I am. This is going to sound incredibly corny but when I wear my scrubs out in public, stopping to get coffee before work, or stopping at the grocery store after my shift, I hold my head up a little higher. The funny thing is that people seem to treat me with slightly more reverence when I’m in my scrubs. And I don’t mind that at all.