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New Guidance on Responding Unexpected Incidents and Emergencies

Following the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) had issued guidance for nurses and other NHS staff on how to respond in unexpected incidents and emergency such as the multiple terrorist attacks that have hit the UK over the last few months.

According to guidance from the RCN, if staffs find themselves in an unexpected incident or emergency then their first reaction should be to ensure their own safety before thinking of others.

This new guidance comes only days after it was announced that a Australian nurse Kirsty Boden was killed while she ran towards danger to help people injured in the terror attack on London Bridge.

RCN advised its members that it is “essential” that they assess any threats to themselves before considering providing care to potential victims. As a nurse or midwife, their first instinct is often to go to the aid of others in need. But, it is important that if they find themselves in an unclear condition then they should follow official government guidance.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (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 ambulance crews, paramedics or military personal on the scene of an incident or emergency).

The statement goes on to explain that there is no expectation that a nurse or midwife will put their own life at risk to help others and that when providing any type of care and it is vital that you only act within the limits of your knowledge and competence.

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