I have always been a cautious person, I like to think about things, look before I leap and often not leap at all! In fact at a recent family trip to one of those tree top adventure courses I was the one who opted out of the Tarzan swing and went the long, but safer, way around. I also recall when my children were young we took a trip to The Needles which involved a rather steep ski lift descent during which my son said to me “mummy can you stop squeezing me now” … it seemed I was being overly cautious about the risk of him falling out of the seat! My caution has often been the source of amusement in our family, I don’t mind as I quite like being the cautious one (it’s a mum thing) but last night I was watching TV and I came across “Ambulance” and it caused me to reflect on caution.
For those of you who have not seen it “Ambulance” is one of those fly on the wall documentaries where a camera crew follow a day (or night as the case was last night) in the life of interesting people. “Ambulance” follows the working lives of some of the crew of West Midlands Ambulance Service. In this particular episode multiple crews got a call to say there had been a major incident and 3 people were already dead … there was some initial speculation over the incident at first and the word “bomb” was used. Nevertheless the ambulance crews put on their blue lights and drove to the scene. I was so in awe of the courage shown by the crews – they had no idea what they were heading into, they were literally running towards danger to help those in need. As it turned out it was a devastating traffic collision with multiple fatalities – but regardless the crews earned my utmost respect.
This got me thinking about my own actions, particularly within my nursing career … do I ever run towards danger? Would I? The closest I have ever come to “danger” was when I was student nurse back in the 1990’s and I was out with some friends, it was 2am and we had just left a night club when a young chap was stabbed and I immediately ran to assist him. I administered first aid and waited with him until the ambulance and police arrived. I can only describe it as an automatic response – someone needed help and I knew how to help, so it stood to reason that I should step forward.
But perhaps it’s not just danger that we run towards as nurses? Perhaps we also run towards adversity? I think that maybe this is more common – when the emergency buzzer goes off at work don’t we all run? We never know what we are running towards but we are aware of the simple fact that it’s an adverse situation … and yet here we all are, throwing caution to the wind and running hell for leather towards it … so that we can use our expertise to help someone in need.
I remain in awe at the courage of the crews in “Ambulance” and I also remain cautious. I will always be the person who takes the photo of my family upside down on an amusement park ride but at the same time I know that I too will run towards danger and adversity if someone is in need – it’s who I am…. I am a nurse!