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RCN urges nurses to get to place of safety in terror attacks

Following the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, where one nurse died trying to save the lives of others, the RCN has issued guidance on how to respond to unexpected incidents and emergencies

Following the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, where one nurse died trying to save the lives of others, the RCN has issued guidelines on how to respond to unexpected incidents and emergencies

The guidelines tell nurses and midwives who find themselves at, or near such a scene, to get to a place of safety and reminds them there is no expectation to put their own lives at risk.

It states: '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.

Safety awareness

'It is essential that

Following the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, where one nurse died trying to save the lives of others, the RCN has issued guidelines on how to respond to unexpected incidents and emergencies


Nurses are not expected to put their own lives at risk, even if the first instinct is to help others
Picture: PA

The guidelines tell nurses and midwives who find themselves at, or near such a scene, to get to a place of safety and reminds them there is no expectation to put their own lives at risk.

It states: '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.

Safety awareness

'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.'

The guidelines advise nurses to ensure that they or someone close to them have contacted emergency services and only then should they consider providing care 'if it is safe to do so'.

It continues: '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 goes on to say that nurses and midwives may be able to help or assist the emergency services, but only if told it is safe to do so.

Follow employer policy

The RCN said when near, or at a place of work, members should follow their employers emergency and major incident planning policies.

The guidance ends: 'When delivering any type of care it is important that you only act within the limits of your knowledge and competence. It is acknowledged that not all nurses are qualified first aiders, but they may be able to support other members of the emergency services or those injured or distressed in other ways.'

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust nurse Kirsty Boden was killed as she reportedly tried to help people who had been struck down during the terrorist attack at London Bridge on Saturday night.


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