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Thursday, 08 June 2017

Guidance urges nurses to ensure personal safety before providing care after terror attacks

Written by Ella Pickover

Nurses must always ensure they are safe when providing care, according to guidance issued in the wake of recent terror attacks.

Australian nurse Kirsty Boden (pictured) was killed after she ran towards danger to help people injured in the terror attack on London Bridge on Saturday.

Her family said that the 28-year-old theatre recovery nurse, who worked at nearby Guy's Hospital, died "as she ran towards danger, in an effort to help people on the bridge".

Now the Royal College of Nursing has issued guidance for nurses and midwives on how to respond to unexpected incidents and emergencies.

The guidance states: "There may be occasions where you find yourself involved in an unexpected incident or emergency outside your normal place of work where people may require care.

"As a nurse or midwife, your first instinct is often to go to the aid of others in need. However, it is important that if you find yourself in an unclear situation you follow official government guidance.

"It is essential that you first assess your environment and ensure it is safe for you. If it is not, you should move to a place of safety. You should then ensure that you or someone close to you has contacted the emergency services. Only then should you consider providing care if it is safe to do so.

"There is no expectation that a nurse or midwife will put their own safety at risk. The NMC Code makes it clear that nurses and midwives must take account of their own safety, the safety of others and the availability of other options for providing care (this may include paramedics, ambulance crews or military personal on the scene of an incident or emergency)."

It also tells nurses to follow the advice of emergency services and offers advice on delivering care "within the limits" of a nurse's knowledge and competence.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Met Police / PA Wire.