Thursday, January 31, 2008

Codes at Work and other stuff

Wow. Yesterday we had a hell of a Code Blue. I was floated to ICU and had a relatively easy night, two tele patient's with no bed to send them to, and one ICU pt. No drips, no real challege...nice and easy...breezy. Then about 6 a.m., bam! (it's the BAM that get's ya every time!) Move the tele pt to another room, then recieve the "tele" pt to ICU to start NTG drip...stat dialysis ... non-rebreather...ect.

I'm right in the middle of stabilizing my new pt (at 6:05...that's how fast I transferred and got my room cleaned and mopped...should get a medal for that one), the patient in Cardiovascular Recovery Codes! She had been up walking around just fine hours before. Started feeling "funny", suddenly like blew a gasket or something. Her chest tube starts pouring blood and she goes asytole! The other ICU nurse runs to the code...and now I have one tele pt, and 4 ICU patients...and still stabilizing my admit. Well if that's not challengening enough....three minutes later they call a Code Orange Haz-mat decon code in the ER (what the heck is going on....what day of the week is it anyhow??). Back to the Code blue...this lady is not doing well (remember asystole!), Everyone's running, nursing students trying to see and stay out of the way...Cardio-thoracic surgeon CRACKS the chest BACK OPEN AT THE BEDSIDE (shades of Gray's Anatomy!). All that...and I missed most of it... (remember the other 5 patient's! Not to count dealing with the family who wanted all 45 members to be in the patient's room at the same time...and wanted to wander around in the hallway while we are running with equipment to the code...."Sir I'm sorry, but could you wait outside of the ICU for a little bit, I'm attempting to stabilize your *mom* *aunt*grandma*cousin* and If I could be in the room rather than running traffic control I could probably do more good for her".) Well eventually it all got done. My patient was doing better, painfree, hemodialysis in progress, NTG titrated up significantly when the actual day shift ICU nurse relieved me (late because everybody coming in also went to help with the codes).

I was glad to leave to go home. Unfortunately...even with the cardiothoracic surgeon at the bedside...the CVR lady didn't make it. Her nurse had tears in her eyes when she left that morning. Sometimes it is just so damned hard to be a nurse.