Being the Nurse Outside Work
Nicole Lehr | Scrubs Magazine
As she is scanning the scene for any movement, the neighbors start to come out of their homes on the front steps, and the cop jumps out of his patrol car stating that he’d been chasing the car for three miles and clocked the driver going 100 mph when he sped by. Suddenly the nurse sees a body on the ground directly between the two sections of the car. She asks the cop if he thinks the car debris has the potential to catch on fire because she can already smell the gasoline at the scene. The cop says the engine part of the vehicle is further away but he will stand between her and the car and watch for any sparks.
The nurses yells to her roommate to get the rubber dishwashing gloves under the sink because she can already see blood pooling around the body, but more importantly, she can see the figure breathing.
Contents below are quite graphic, please read at your own discretion
The nurse approaches the body to find a middle-age appearing man in a white (blood-stained) t-shirt and pants strewn 4 feet away from him due to impact. He has a foot long laceration in his thigh, a mangled right arm and she can tell he has had a traumatic brain injury due to the amount of bleeding and swelling coming from his facial orifices.
However, upon leaning down to do her ABC assessment (thank you American Heart Association) she finds his airway intact and his breathing rapid. She can palpate a brachial pulse. She yells to the cop that the man is breathing and has a pulse and tells him to put some fire under EMS’ tail because there is still a chance for him. After a mere couple of seconds she notices his breathing becomes agonal in nature and when she feels for a pulse, she can no longer detect one.
So there, in the middle of the street, at 4:30 a.m., in her pajamas, this nurse initiates chest compressions. She remembers learning that if there are no barrier devices available to provide rescue breaths, just doing chest compressions provides better outcomes for the patient than nothing at all. It seems like forever until the ambulance arrives, but in reality it was just a couple of minutes. The nurse steps back when the guys with the AED and intubation equipment arrive at the scene. They assess the body, assess the injuries, and pronounce him dead at the scene.