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Personal safety for nurses: Part 1

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Nurses often leave from or arrive at work in the dark, in poorly lighted or under-patrolled parking lots and garages. Those who prey on women KNOW these things and consider such areas “target-rich” environments. So how can you avoid being a target?

Refresh your memory with these things to do in an emergency situation. It never hurts to be extra careful in this crazy world we live in.

If a thief demands your wallet and/or purse, do not hand it over. Toss it away from you. Chances are he or she is more interested in your wallet than you and will go for the wallet/purse. Then run like mad in the opposite direction!  (Another thought: it might be wise to keep your drivers’ license and other items which have your address/phone number in a separate wallet or even in your vehicle rather than carrying such items in your purse.)

A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot or parking garage: Remember that the two most powerful weapons you have are your vehicle and your cell phone. Do not give up either if you can possibly avoid it! Make sure that the GPS tracking option is turned ON when you are setting up your cell phone.

When approaching and getting into your vehicle:

A.) Be aware. Look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor and in the back seat.

B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door OR find an escort–preferably a police officer.

Many serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while they are attempting to get into their cars. Remember that Ted Bundy came across as a “nice guy” who often appeared to need help.  And what do nurses like to do? HELP people!

Look at what is parked on both sides of your vehicle. If someone is sitting in the seat nearest your car, you should walk back into the mall or workplace and get a guard/police officer to walk you back out.

Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating or working and just sit doing their checkbook or making a list. Don’t do this! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him/her to get in, put a gun to your head and tell you where to go.

As soon as you get into your car, lock the doors and leave.

If someone is in the car with a gun to your head, do not drive off as instructed. Instead: GET RECKLESS! Gun the engine and speed into anything, preferably wrecking the car on the side of the intruder. Your air bag and seat belt will protect you and the “wreck” will draw attention to you and your situation. If the person is in the back seat, he/she will most likely get the worst of it.

As soon as the car crashes, bail out and run if you can.

If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car which does not have a yellow “emergency open” handle, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out of the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you, but others behind the car will. This has saved lives.

Remember: It is always better to be safe than sorry.

A woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself (Susan B. Anthony).

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Nurse Rene

Nurse Rene has been an RN since 1978; CCRN since 1989 and attained a BSN in 2010. She has worked in virtually every specialty from Neonatology to Neurosurgery and is a Member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society with a particular interest in helping students and new grads develop to their full potential. She's been married for 33 years and has a keen interest in history and in current issues as nursing continues to develop as a Real Profession. When not spoiling the grandchildren, she enjoys sewing, cooking, kayaking, camping and travel. She likes all music which does not hurt her ears, watching NCIS, Leverage, Top Gear and Criminal Minds and reads books written by Clive Cussler, Miss Manners, Erma Bombeck and Tom Clancy. She enjoys collecting Quotations for use in her writings.
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