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Dealing with an unwell work colleague?

by Justine Crowley (follow)
Independent Business Consultant, Doctor, HubGarden Editor and Author/Publisher of four self help books: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JustineCrowley
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dealing with a sick work colleague, unwell work colleague
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net A sick woman at work

What would you do, if you happened to find yourself in a situation at work, where a work colleague of yours suddenly became really ill at work, like out of nowhere? Or perhaps this particular colleague of yours is pregnant, and she fell unexpectedly at work? Even if your first aid certificate has expired, would you still give first aid? Call an ambulance?


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Was in this situation recently, while working on a client site - mainstream media. I am now responsible (as a contractor still, through my own business) for allocating work to writers, editors and to myself with this client. I was following up a couple of urgent feature articles with a colleague, only to find out that she had fainted for 45 minutes, while I was busy on deadlines, and overseeing the creative function otherwise. Gave a bit of advice, applied an ice pack etc. Had to call an ambulance, and so glad we did, as she ended up having to have some gangrene removed, and was in hospital for a week. I am pleased she is back in the office this week, yet have had to ease her workload, as she is not attuned to working full eight-hour days just yet, despite having six-weeks off work, and that meant my working hours writing hit the roof last month. She could have nearly died. We were lucky in that moment.
Under the Work Health and Safety Act, the employer should provide adequate first aiders for your work premise. On this basis, if you're not trained yourself and the situation looks serious, I'd follow the appropriate process to get immediate help from your workplace first aider.
In the case where no first aider is present, I imagine it would come down to common sense and an assessment of the gravity of the situation eg is it life threatening. I've been in this situation myself and found reassuring my colleague and acting calm despite all the adrenalin pumping through my body was essential!
Call an ambulance first then give first aid. Common sense. Just because your cert has ran out, it doesn't mean you have forgot ton how to give first aid. You have a duty of care. I also believe that no one has ever been sued (in Australia) for being a Good Samaritan.
I would call an ambulance first and follow the basic procedures/first steps if I had a first aid certificate that has expired.
by WSW
Call an Ambulance.
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