Top tips for dealing with an emergency in the community

The idea of dealing with an emergency in the community is often a daunting one and most people at some point will witness, or be involved in an accident or medical emergency. Working within a healthcare environment makes this all the more likely, so knowing what to do and being prepared can potentially save lives. Here are some of our top tips to help you deal with an emergency:

  • Remember that your safety is the first priority. If it isn’t safe to help the patient, stand back and wait for the emergency services to arrive.
  • When treating your patient, always use the A, B, C (Airway, Breathing, Circulation) to assess them.
  • Call 999 early, if required. It is useful to have your address and telephone number next to the phone at all times; remembering these details can be tricky in an emergency.
  • Make sure all staff know where the emergency equipment is located and what it looks like, so that anyone that is asked to collect it, can grab it quickly in an emergency.
  • If you can spare someone, send them outside to flag the ambulance down.
  • Ask someone to write down the key details for the patient if you have them; name; address; date of birth; GP details; medical history; medications and allergies. Give these details to the ambulance crew.
  • Make sure any other patients, especially those in a waiting room are looked after. Witnessing an emergency can be very distressing for bystanders.
  • Afterwards, make sure your team has a debrief. This is really important to both learn from what has happened, but also to help deal with the emotional strain for all involved.

Preparing for emergencies by talking through scenarios and doing practice runs will make the real thing run more smoothly. If you need your skills refreshing, contact us about how we can tailor the training to help you prepare for those unexpected incidents, step by step, specifically for your environment

Witten by Sophie McCracken, Clinical Advisor for ECG 2nd March 2017