Friday, November 06, 2009

When Calamity Strikes

Well, experience demonstrates again and again that even when one is "off duty" as a nurse or medical professional, one's training can kick into gear at any moment.

Today, I was placidly sitting in my cousin's living room with my laptop. Knowing that there were several roofers crawling around above our heads, some modicum of loud sounds was not unexpected. However, when a series of crashes occurred in a space of several seconds, I looked up to witness a body falling rapidly through space towards the ground past the window opposite the couch where I was seated.

With my wife yelling for help and my cousin calling 911, we ran to the back yard to find a roofer who had fallen from the second floor level, bouncing off of the roof of the dining room and the deck before landing on the ground.

It was quite a scene, and it was indeed gratifying to be able to quickly assess his injuries and level of consciousness, cajole him not to move a muscle, and determine that he could safely wait for the ambulance to arrive.

Luckily, he sustained no major injuries and was treated and released from the emergency room within several hours. Every time I respond to an event of this kind (like car accidents), I realize that I should really undergo a refresher course in First Aid and emergency medical response. However, my nursing assessment skills did indeed come in handy, and I was happy to be of service, however limited my abilities.


Photo by Mary Rives
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