Nurse in Action while on Vacation (The Beach Resort Incident)


Scenario: The dinner was set. The festive array of roasted pig, and cold sodas on the table was a definition of a perfect weekend. My feet were playing on the fine sands at the beachfront while heading towards the banquet. Nothing beat a weekend R&R especially if it was for free. But everything turned upside-down when…
"Rested my tired self in a while after the emergency situation"

“Emergency! Emergency!” I heard a group of people at the same resort I checked-in when I was about to grab that dewy soda. My bestfriend approached me calmly leading me to a room of a fainted client. She was confident of my being a nurse. A profession I used to practice in the hospital ten years ago.

“How old is the client?” It was my primary question.
“Mid-40’s,” she replied.

Then I found myself reviewing and scanning in my head the necessary assessment and intervention of fainted clients. I reviewed the ABC’s (BAC’s nowadays) while my sympathetic nervous system was at work. Sending signals to my brain while its concentration and focus was to the client. The resort management already called up the ambulance. I continued with my assessment – low breathing, weak pulse beating less than 60 beats per minute. The patient’s condition remained as it was for more than 5 minutes. I constantly gave her a friction rub which she occasionally opened her eyes while I was doing it.

The emergency team responded and I reported my assessment. She became conscious for a moment whilst assessing for her reflexes. She was able to raise her arms but she couldn’t do it with her right foot. Then she fainted again before she was taken to a district hospital.

The Good Samaritan Law
I thought my service ended at the moment the client was taken by the ambulance. Not until my friend asked me if I wanted to accompany her to the district hospital. I couldn’t say no. I am still embedded with the “Good Samaritan Law” which doesn’t exist in the Philippines.

We found ourselves in the ambulance accompanying the patient from the district hospital to the provincial hospital. She was together with her children who were minors so we took the responsibility for her. While we were in the ambulance together with the nurse, we constantly checked the patient’s condition. The nurse had a clue basing on my behavior that I belonged to the medical field. He was not hesitant to trust me to assist him.

The client transfer to the provincial hospital was at least good. I filled in all the information for the client and even related the story to the nurse on duty about what exactly happened back at the resort. The patient was given the necessary intervention while we waited outside to whatever assistance needed from us.

Midnight and the Laboratory Tests
The client had nothing with her. It was a good thing though that my friend and I had some cash that we shouldered the client’s laboratory expenses. We went from the provincial hospital to two private hospitals at the wee hours because lab. tests weren’t available.

While waiting for the results, my friend asked me if I was fine. I laughed at her and said, “I am thirsty. I am craving for that cold soda and a piece of lechon.”
“My friends asked me if we were okay. So I am asking,” she continued.
“I used to enjoy this situation before. I used to be an E.R. Nurse so bringing back the yester years wasn’t too overwhelming,” I replied.
“We are fine, right?” she repeated.
“We are!” I confirmed.

 A Swim to Compensate
It was 4 in the morning the next day that we saw that the patient had a stable vital sign and her husband and her son came. After giving them the details about what exactly happened and what laboratory tests were performed, we bid goodbye to the patient’s S.O.

My friend and I sat down in a certain food chain. My “fight” response waned. My parasympathetic nervous system was back at work. I craved for food and water. My body compensated through eating while my eyes were slowly dozing off. I was dead beaten by the incident that I had forgotten that I had to go to work in the morning.

I slept barely 2 hours before I went back to school. I had a meeting in the morning with bloodshot eyes and aching muscles. The incident that night was overwhelming. It was something I don’t wish to happen especially during a vacation.

My friend called up and asked me if I could still come in the resort in the afternoon. I confirmed her invitation yet again and looked forward for the lechon and cold soda I failed to have because of the emergency.

For a short while, I managed to swim in the beach and had some lunch after. I realized that a servant’s heart and the will to serve is a built-in system of humanity and for humanity. So, Instead of relaxing at the beach, I found myself responding to a case.


Insights:
1. I responded to the case with calmness and concentration. I may not be a practicing nurse in the hospital but I always update myself to the new method of Emergency and Rescue Situation.

2. The Good Samaritan Law is practiced in countries like the USA and the UK. In the Philippines, we have the Article 275 of the Revised Penal Code. It stipulates, “Abandonment of person in danger and abandonment of one's own victim. — The penalty of arresto mayor shall be imposed upon:
1. Any one who shall fail to render assistance to any person whom he shall find in an uninhabited place wounded or in danger of dying, when he can render such assistance without detriment to himself, unless such omission shall constitute a more serious offense.
2. Anyone who shall fail to help or render assistance to another whom he has accidentally wounded or injured. x x x

3. DO NOT HELP if you are hesitant. You might cause further damage to the client/patient. The best thing to do is to call the ambulance or ask the management to call for you.

4. If you are capable of helping though, always be sure that you secure your safety first and is not compromised while helping. CPR might be the best thing to do but please make sure you are in a safe/plain place for doing it.

Realizations:
I can’t get away with my Messiah Complex. If I could see someone who is in dire need, my “Jesus Christ” in me immediately surfaces. In the least expected moment, I was able to extend my help even if it meant sacrificing my happiness and relaxation. But at the end of the day, I was happy that a person was saved.  

Addendum:
1. The Beach Resort was quick enough to respond to the emergency situation. As an SOP, the management must have a nurse-on-duty or any medical personnel to respond immediately on such circumstance. 
2. I thank my friend for inviting me for a beach getaway/workshop at the same time. I knew she didn't expect the case but incidents like that was inevitable and unpredictable. 
3. Later on and based from the s/s, laboratory tests and patient's history, I learned that the patient suffered from Transient Ischemic Attack. It is the loss of blood in the brain that may lead to some neurological dysfunction. 
4. The patient was given a sublingual emergency drug when she was conscious for a moment before she passed out again. If you are a patient who is diagnosed with hypertension, always be sure to be ready with the emergency drugs wherever you are. Inform your significant others about your location and your activities. If you have limitations because of your health conditions, abide with it diligently. Always be conscious of your limitations. Educate your children and yourself properly about your medicine (if they are already in the legal age) e.g. effects/adverse effects, dosage and timing, the name of the medicine.
5. Prior to the emergency situation, I was able to talk with the patient earlier. In a casual manner, I expressed my concern about going back to being a nurse. She even agreed to it. In the much earlier sense, my friend called me up because of children she was with who were sick and suffering from stomach ache. I again practiced my first profession by taking care of these children. Who would have thought that from a simple case of pyrexia up to tending the patient with TIA, I was able to render nursing service. 

I experienced the same emergency situation when my friend and I went for an adventure in Bacolod. Read on about Campuestohan Highland Resort and the Little Mishap.
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About Marie Angelique Villamor

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