Quote of the Day: “Difficulties strengthen the mind, as well as labor does the body.-Seneca”
If you work in the medical field long enough you’re bound to run into a Code Blue. I just happened to have a rotation in the ER this week for clinical, and ran smack dab into one. We had a patient come in with respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest on an ambulance, and we had to do CPR on her. Everyone was ready as soon as they found out she was coming, so while everyone was trying to bring her back the three other students and I had to do chest compressions on her, taking turns when we got tired. When I did the compressions it was actually physically hard, but such a different experience. The technician was using a Doppler radar which you place on an artery and it amplifies the sound of blood moving through an artery. He told me “That’s all you, that’s your compressions moving the blood through her body.” The worst part of it was when I was felt a couple of her ribs crack beneath my hands, and knowing that I had done it. But like the respiratory tech said to one of the other students, it’s common, and it’s no worse than what she’s going through right now.
However, we ended up losing her anyways, despite our efforts and them giving her a LOT of epinephrine, atropine, and sodium bicarbonate, which are the three most-used cardiac medications for the situation. Despite the fact that it was my first death in a hospital I was really impressed with how smoothly the entire team ran things – from the nurse in charge of monitoring her pulse and O2 sats, to the respiratory technicians, to the pharmacy technicians, to the regular nurses. Everything was almost choreographed, and everyone knew their part and what they were supposed to do. But I also learned that I would not freeze up when something like that happens, which reassures me that I’ve made a good choice of career. I can take it. And yes, for those of you who want to know, it really does happen just like it does on television!
Other than that episode the rest of the day went really well. A lot of people with chest pain, some sick kids, lots of normal stuff. I found that I really liked the ER, and it is a very busy, very active place compared to all the other places I’ve done clinical at. I think it’s much better suited to my personality than the regular floors, but at the same time I am so much more tired than I usually am after our 12 hour clinical days. I may end up living on aspirin if I get a job as an ER nurse. Not that it’s a bad thing, necessarily. Maybe my legs and back would get used to the fast pace after a while. And I would DEFINITELY not have any problems staying skinny, that’s for sure. I must have walked around 20 miles today. Okay, maybe not 20, but at least 10. Mostly because I walk so fast all the time, and the fact that I had to spend so much time dodging around other people who were ALSO walking fast.
A Church on 3rd Street