A nurse on the medical surgical floor walked into a patient's room and found the patient lying face down on the floor, unresponsive to verbal stimulation. After the nurse calls for assistance, the next course of action should be which of the following?


• In patients who have been injured in an unwitnessed event, the nurse should stabilize the neck to prevent potential cervical spine injury. This precaution should be done after the nurse presses the nurse assistance button.

• After ensuring that the patient's neck will not move, the nurse can then assess the patient further for the level of responsiveness.

• If the patient fell and hit furniture or injured the neck, any movement of the head or neck could result in further damage to the cervical spine. Cervical spine injuries can cause paralysis or death.

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