A nurse is working in the ER when a patient is brought in by ambulance after a motor vehicle accident. The patient has a neck brace in place and has blood on the face and down the torso. The patient is breathing and has a pulse that is rapid but palpable. The nurse knows the next intervention should be which of the following? 

Check pupils for response to light and ask the patient their name and birthdate.

Explanation

• In trauma patients, the first action is to secure the neck to prevent any injury to the cervical spine.

• If the patient is breathing, the level of consciousness should be determined next by asking simple questions such as name and birthday while checking the pupils for responsiveness.

• IV access should already be established if the patient is brought in by ambulance. If no IV is in place, at this point the nurse should insert one.

• Vital signs should be obtained after the patient is situated and assessment has begun.

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