Monday, January 19, 2015

The Big Nursing question

"John, I'm going to have you do the code in room 7"
"How long?"
"5 minutes."

Many days in the ER are the same old same old, with the addition of being hassled about how long it took to do something and how your charting isn't perfect.
It gets old.

Then, once in a while, it's different.
You help save a life.
You guide a family though death.
You help a fellow nurse though a rough day.

"What do we know?"
"62 year old male from the casino, CPR in progress, shocked twice."

The medic and EMT roll though the door.
"62 year old male, witnessed arrest, V tach, shocked x3, intubated, Amioderone 300mg, got a pulse as we were backing up, down time 20  minutes.
IO right leg, 18 in the left AC, history MI with 3 stents, family on the way."

Short and to the point.

(He died, had no pulse, they got him back with electricity and drugs, he has a breathing tube and IV access, family will be here soon.)

The next 30 minutes are filled with a team of people doing EKGs, chest Xray, and blood work.
Orders are given, repeated back, and medications administered.
We lose the pulse, we get it back, we lose it, we get it back.
We stabilize, 
Life Star arrives, priest and family get 2 minutes, and the patient leaves.  
He'll be at the big city hospital in 12 minutes.

The "code team" was assembled in 5 minutes.
As primary nurse, I had to be the conductor of the orchestra.
The ultimate responsibility fell on the doctor and I, working together.

Driving home, I think of a question I was asked recently.
"Will you miss it if you leave?"

I answered then that I wouldn't miss the BS.

But I'll miss the days when I make a difference.

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