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Home > Topics > Vehicle Crashes

Suspected fake nurse at ambulance wreck steals medic's coat, offers aid

She was removed from the scene for hindering rescue efforts, and deputies are investigating if her claims that she was a trauma nurse are true

Online Athens

ATHENS, Ga. — A White County woman could face criminal charges after she stopped at an ambulance wreck on Saturday in Bishop, where she put on a stolen paramedic’s coat and offered medical assistance after telling a deputy she was a hospital trauma nurse, authorities said Monday.

However, the woman was ordered off the wreck scene after Oconee County emergency crews asked the deputy to remove her because she was hindering their rescue efforts, according to an Oconee County Sheriff’s report.

Deputies had not determined Monday if she was actually a nurse, Chief Deputy Lee Weems said.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Read full storyDeputies unsure if nurse at ambulance wreck scene was fake

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Mike DalPezzo Mike DalPezzo Monday, June 02, 2014 3:47:47 PM I encountered a wreck along the interstate. A Doctor had stopped and was in a mouth battle with an EMT who also had stopped. Given that the Doctor was NOT a Medical Command Physician, the EMT outranked the Doctor. The Doctor's directions were NOT in compliance with protocols. Fortunately, I wasn't only the Trooper, but an EMT and understood the entire issue. Doctors can be helpful, but only if they've walked a mile in our EMS shoes (boots)...
Edward Herbert Edward Herbert Monday, June 02, 2014 4:11:19 PM I asked a doctor to leave a scene one time because he was not willing to help us. It is just how it goes sometimes. On my way home after a long shift on the ambulance one Saturday Night a bicyclist blew a right light, and in direct path of an oncoming full sized van. I started an assessment, and on my heels was a real trauma nurse, and it did not take us long to figure out that we needed to get this person to a trauma center. Medics, the bus arrived, the weather clear but frigidly cold. That was the fastest long board I think I have ever done. The victim's ortho, and neuro involvement were extensive, and probably even mortal if he were in the trauma center at that moment. I patted the door of the bus after we loaded the patient, I suppose for support, and prayers for everybody.
Kristie Branch Hairston Kristie Branch Hairston Monday, June 02, 2014 4:27:31 PM We have that quite a bit here... Dr's will stop and want to give orders...and dude unless you are assuming care and loading up with me in the box to the ER... get the hell away...
Scott Key Scott Key Monday, June 02, 2014 4:40:38 PM Exactly right Kristie.
Jim Sutton Jim Sutton Monday, June 02, 2014 6:51:16 PM I have always been fortunate enough to work around nursing professionals who understand we each have our skill sets and that respect the boundaries of the scene.
Rose Branham Blackwell Rose Branham Blackwell Monday, June 02, 2014 7:21:08 PM I just want to know if the crew and occupants were ok.... ...
Ed Hillenbrand Ed Hillenbrand Monday, June 02, 2014 7:48:58 PM OK Doc, you are in charge just as soon as you sign this form taking total responsibility for this patient. Only had one doc ever willing to sign it -- of course he WAS our local trauma doc. : )
Chris Wilkie Chris Wilkie Monday, June 02, 2014 9:26:11 PM My understanding is the driver and student are fine but the EMT has multiple fractures, including long bone, and is expected to be out of work for a year. The EMT is in paramedic school and is a single mom of 2-3 children. The first paramedic that responded to the wreck was the EMT's mother.
Cher Kandra Smith Cher Kandra Smith Monday, June 02, 2014 10:15:29 PM I'm a nurse. I stop and help at wrecks UNTIL the ambulance arrives at which point I give off report and findings then get the hell out of the way. Just cause you are a nurse, doctor, rt, etc doesn't mean you outrank the paramedics on their turf. THEIR TURF. They outrank YOU. So move over and let them do their job so when they get to the hospital, you can take over and do YOUR job.
Karen Mann Karen Mann Monday, June 02, 2014 10:47:10 PM I'm with you... If I happen on an accident scene, I throw on a pair of gloves, start basic care (and usually end up holding c-spine) and report my findings to the first EMS to arrive, then do what THEY tell me. I am dual licensed, RN, EMT-P and worked on a truck for more than 10 years. I used to know the protocols for the local areas backwards, forwards, and sideways... I'm sure things have changed a bit in the last 5 years, but basic care is still basic care. I'm a Hospice nurse, now (never in a million years would have expected THAT, but I love it!) and I HOPE none of the patients end up in my care!
Cher Kandra Smith Cher Kandra Smith Monday, June 02, 2014 11:08:21 PM Karen Mann I'm a Hospice Nurse also, and a RRT. My son is a firefighter/EMT and he is constantly complaining about the people who get in the way. Working with the Paramedics for as long as I have I know to back off after giving report and let them take over. Had to do that the other day with one of my own patients. Report, back off out of the way til they were gone. Faster you back off, the quicker they can do their job and the faster the loved one gets help.
Tom Kelly Tom Kelly Tuesday, June 03, 2014 1:02:18 AM This is another reason we reduce the number of people who are not on our team at the scene
LindaSpanky Warhaftig LindaSpanky Warhaftig Tuesday, June 03, 2014 5:54:06 AM What the hell is this who out ranks who crap? If a knowledgeable intelligent person is tgere and helping not hindering its all a bonus. MY scene, YOUR scene... Really people? I have been helped by nurses, doctors, medics, emt's, soldiers, tractor trailer drivers... The only people I have removed are those who think they OUT RANK and should be in charge. Leave your ego on tbe shoulder please.
Gary Finnstrom Gary Finnstrom Tuesday, June 03, 2014 6:08:55 AM i have been at scenes and had nurses arrested for interfering one crew had a idiot show up aying he was a doctor...he had a phd no medical experience
David M. Hammonds David M. Hammonds Tuesday, June 03, 2014 9:07:15 AM She had probably stayed at a Holiday Inn Express the night before.
Darrin Stewart Darrin Stewart Tuesday, June 03, 2014 10:25:34 AM As an EMT, I can say this, I don't interfere with the docs in their job. They should know not to interfere in mine. Docs and nurses have medical training in a clinical environment. I have medical and rescue training in a field setting. Stay out of the way.
Thomas Chodak Thomas Chodak Tuesday, June 03, 2014 12:17:53 PM this makes me sick people will go the lengths to be in the spotlight by pretending to be some their not
Rebecca Stearns Rebecca Stearns Tuesday, June 03, 2014 1:25:44 PM While we have all encountered in-hospital professionals in the out of hospital setting and found that they are many times lacking, I think that it is important to recognise their desire to help victims in an emergent setting. Why not offer your hospital team members to ride along with you so that they have a better understanding of what we do on scene to safely get the patient to them? I have worked both in-hospital and out-of-hospital settings and am grateful for both experiences because they have both taught me different perspectives on how to achieve better patient care.
Michelle Sites Michelle Sites Tuesday, June 03, 2014 1:34:57 PM at the scene of a trauma or medical situation whether a police officer, doc or nurse, we should all work together. but as EMS in emergency care of the sick and injured, EMT have protocols to adhere by. if those laws are broken, we can loose our card. would you want to take that chance?? Probably not! So be respestuful and professional so EMT's may perform their job, so more knowledgeable medical staff at the hospital may do theirs!
Matthew Whitt Matthew Whitt Tuesday, June 03, 2014 2:28:48 PM Honestly, I've never had too many problems with other healthcare professionals at the scene of an accident. I know the intervening physician laws allow and on scene physician to take charge of patient care and write orders. I have had this happen twice and it was a rather fun experience. We did a conscious sedation to reset a bone and the other time we placed a chest tube using a large ET tube. The only problems I really have is with that overly "helpful" nurse or medic on scene. I can usually direct them to something constructive and other than a minor nuisance I have had no real problems.
Robert Gift Robert Gift Tuesday, June 03, 2014 4:41:09 PM I would render whatever air I could. When EMS arrives, give them my observations (report) and they take over patient care. I await any orders, otherwise stand aside.
Shawn Vee Shawn Vee Tuesday, June 03, 2014 4:55:59 PM Heh... Years ago I was a scene when a "Dr." showed up and was telling my partner what to do, and yelling at him because he wasn't listening to him and was saying he wasn't doing it right, my partner kept telling him to leave which the "Dr." refused and was cursing ect.... The biggest mistake he made was when he grabbed his shoulder... My partner whipped around with the defib paddles in his hand and screamed "If you f-ing come back near me again I'll hit you with these.... That got his point across... Well when police show up he was trying to get him arrested, the cop said "Maybe you should have left him alone then"... BTW the "Dr." was a Dentist we found out.
R Stacy Voliva R Stacy Voliva Tuesday, June 03, 2014 5:21:18 PM I wouldnt necessarily even use the term turf. Its more about personal safety. If you dont have the training and gear to help, then you are in danger. I do both prehospital and inhospital... And without appropriate gear in either place, I am just their for support...
Jamie Bingham Jamie Bingham Tuesday, June 03, 2014 5:43:21 PM Why does it have to be about who outranks who or "turf" wars as many of the comments seem to be discussing. This case was not a good one for obvious reasons, but I have also had paramedic and basic partners "excuse" good people from the scene rudely just because, in my estimation, they "could", who were doing perfect c-spine or helping (thus locking my partner into holding c-spine and now being no help to me). In good cases where someone is just wanting to help find them something to do and even if they are interfering and PD isn't there yet give them a stupid menial task just to get them out of the way - but if bystander is helping let them help you....isn't this part of scene size up and resources? Let the kids watch from a safe distance instead of being a jerk and making everyone "get back" as if you're in charge of the world.. Heck, I ran to the sirens when I was a kid and watched in awe while the medics worked. Educate them. I am not advocating letting idiots or dangerous people in the circle (yes, it's a judgement call sometimes), but if you have resources use them to your advantage. I am guessing we all have a doctor or nurse on scene story too. It happens. Now, maybe some do not understand this, but a doc is a doc is a doc off duty too, unlike the rest of us, who operate professionally under protocol and some form of supervision, albeit, distant. A doc who does take on something now has the liability issue on his or her plate and legal abandonment etc concerns to go along with what they are wanting, but they are doctors wherever they are. Kind of like Peace Officers...a little different....but similar
Jamie Bingham Jamie Bingham Tuesday, June 03, 2014 5:46:22 PM And the only thing I have ever kept in my car is an ambu bag. I am not lip-locking anyone (and now we don't have to per AHA), but in 30 years (29 to be exact) I have never done mouth to mouth.........sober anyway.......
Dan Finn Dan Finn Tuesday, June 03, 2014 7:06:32 PM HAD A FOOT DOCTOR TRY AND TAKE CONTROL OF A MULTI CAR vs TRUCK. He was removed by State police.
Nate Boyce Nate Boyce Tuesday, June 03, 2014 10:41:35 PM Nothing makes me happier than telling people with far more education than me to step off because it's my turf and I do as I please. Oh wait....
James Pearson James Pearson Wednesday, June 04, 2014 6:03:19 AM Occasionally we get the bystander that claims to be a paramedic, R.N., or doctor. If they don't seem legit, ask for credentials. Let them know that your required to see them. Maine EMS has a page in the protocol book that we can show them. It thanks them for their offer of assistance, lets them know that the EMS personnel and their medical director are in charge of the situation, and lets them know that they may be required to accompany the patient to the hospital. That last part even gets the real doctors to reconsider.
Pierre Lebouef Pierre Lebouef Tuesday, June 10, 2014 4:15:24 PM My doctor ended up being a dentist.
Charles Robertson Charles Robertson Tuesday, June 10, 2014 4:30:33 PM White county? How racist is that?
T.J. Jeznach T.J. Jeznach Wednesday, June 11, 2014 7:03:09 AM I know people occasionally have the desire to help people (I mean look at the job we all do), but why would you stop and assist, and make a false claim only to hinder care? That's a serious mental illness, isn't it?

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