July 08, 2007
A Cause Greater than Herself...
Ginger and I were headed to the local shopping mall yesterday after visiting a friend. En route, we were pretty much one of the first vehicles on a not so pretty accident scene involving a Range Rover and a motorcycle.
We were about 5 vehicles back from the intersection where the accident happened. I could see from my driver seat vantage point that there was a victim on the ground writhing in pain. I advised Ginger that this "Really didn't look good..." as many bystanders were running to the victim's aid, and many other drivers were rapidly dialing 911 on their cell phones.
Ginger looked at me, and knowing her duty, popped open her door and headed toward the injured man, yelling back as she ran across the intersection "Pull Over Somewhere!"
Uh... Yeah... Duh...
By this time, all traffic at the normally busy intersection was at a standstill. I managed to move across the intersection, using a bit of an improvised routing, and pull over to the side of the road, (4 wheel drive is awesome!).
By this time there were five to seven people administering what care they could to the victim on the ground (obviously the motorcyclist). As I observed, it rapidly became apparent to me that there were two professionally trained individuals among the care givers. One appeared to be a physician and the other was Ginger.
I watched from the sidewalk (there were enough people in the intersection and I assumed that all I could do would be get in the way at this point) as Ginger and the physician switched gears, from their average weekend activities into well trained professionals. I could easily and immediately see the difference in the two, compared to the others tending to this injured man. Ginger and the physician rapidly exchanged pedigrees establishing knowledge and an instantaneous working relationship as they triaged their unexpected patient.
At one point Ginger came running toward, not our SUV, but the one parked in front of mine, the physicians. Opened the door, grabbed the doc's stethoscope and charged back to the victim.
Immediately the doctor began running an assessment on her charge's condition as Ginger focused on keeping the patient stable and more importantly keeping his head still and inline. As I said before, this didn't look good, protruding leg bones and basketball sized black and blue marks are a clue.
It was about this time I heard the first sirens of emergency responders. Understand that we are probably only some 3 minutes into this by this time. The first to arrive... the police. They immediately acknowledged that two professionals were tending to the injured man and let Ginger and the doc continue administering what care they could, while they took care of traffic control and checking on the less injured driver of the Range Rover.
Within another minute, the EMT's and Littleton Fire Department were on scene. Ginger and the doc rapidly relayed what they knew of the victim's condition to the Paramedics and Fire Fighters as they began to digest the scene. (That's Ginger highlighted in the grainy cell phone photo on the right). Another couple of minutes and the patient was urgently yet in a quite specifically controlled manner, lifted onto a backboard and secured. At this point there was not much more for Ginger and the doctor to do, it was in the other professionals' purview now.
And as quickly as their involvement began, it ended, and the two accidental professionals walked together, toward me and their hazard flashing vehicles all the while exchanging pleasantries and mutual thanks to each other for each other's service. I learned that, much like Ginger, the physician while not currently a trauma doc, had recently been in a Level 1 Trauma Center back east (Ginger had been a Trauma Nurse here at one of Denver's Level 1 Centers before becoming an oncology nurse). They both made a passing comment about Bicycle riding and never forgetting... Obviously true.
I have to confess, at one point while watching my fiance' tend to the injured man lying on the 100 degree asphalt, I had an overwhelming sense of pride in her and her dedication. Ginger, in that instant in time, epitomized the philosophy of duty over self. And I loved her for it... That's my girl out there! I'm a lucky man! And because of the millions of nurses like her, we all are. Next time you see a nurse, you might remember to thank them, their job certainly isn't easy, their knowledge is intense, and their dedication is astounding.
Thank you Ginger...Here's to you and those like you... Damn few left!
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I wish there were more people out there to express their feelings for the things us nurses do ..do sometimes :) But, then again, I am probably just like your lovely Ginger in that I do my best always when looking after people, and that means both at work and out on the road if it be required :)
Posted by: Cazzie | Oct 8, 2007 6:33:49 AM
Thank you Ginger, for your service.
Thank you, sir for this article.
Posted by: Xavier | Aug 1, 2007 5:31:54 AM
Posted by: Greg Reinacker | Jul 26, 2007 4:16:26 PM
I didn't fully appreciate nurses until I spent a night in intensive care...they are amazing. One of the best quotes I ever heard from a doctor was stated by my primary care physician: "I am pretty nurturing...I really should have been a nurse." She meant that in the most sincere complimentary manner.
Posted by: Karyn German | Jul 9, 2007 12:14:30 PM