16 September 2010

The one with the Code

I don’t like it when the patient in the next bed codes.

I love it when my patient sleeps through the entire code and the millions of people who came running in, then wakes up and tells me he thinks he heard the guy in the next bed coughing and asks if he’s ok.

Know what happens during a code in a teaching hospital? Everyone and their second cousin comes running in the room to see what’s going on. 40 people crammed in a teeny little space with about 20 of those people shouting orders and grabbing meds was pretty much the equivalent of pure chaos. After about two minutes someone finally stepped up to call the orders, but until then it was madness.

Two minutes might not seem like a long time, but trust me. When you’re watching someone flatline, it seems like hours.

On one hand, it was kind of interesting to see what happens in a real code…not something scripted on House or Grey’s.

“I need more Propofol!” shouted one doctor.

I know what that is! I thought to myself. God bless Michael Jackson.

Anything to help you remember your meds, people.

On the other hand, it was slightly horrifying to watch this guy’s stats drop so incredibly fast. Incredibly fast. I had no idea you’re heart rate could go from 112 to 0 in the span of about 30 seconds. I was standing there, wanting to grab someone, shake them and say, “Forget the teaching part!! Someone just step up and save this guy’s life!!”

My friend Kayla and I did what any good nursing student should do: we grabbed each other’s arms for dear life and tried to stay out of the way. And shook like leaves. And got goosebumps. And pretty much freaked out…all while trying to not let it show on our faces (nursing student lesson #472).

In any case, watching doctors perform chest compressions on a guy who was sitting up and talking 15 minutes earlier really made an impression on me:

I have no desire whatsoever to work in the ER. My anxiety levels are too insane as it is. I’m the kind of girl that falls apart in disaster situations. Just ask my husband - the tornado sirens go off and I turn into a quivering puddle of uselessness.

I did enjoy the patient I was assigned to – a 60y/o guy with an incredible sense of humor who was in for phase II of a jaw reconstruction with a titanium plate and pec flap – and who’s eyes lit up at the sight of his Colace.

Or maybe it was the Percocet.


The Licking Wildcats won their games on Monday and Tuesday! They have more games tonight and tomorrow, so we’ll see if they can keep this up. For such a young team – if you remember, we graduated five seniors – they’re playing pretty well together. Go ‘cats!
And it's been awhile since I've mentioned this, and I think it deserves some saying: my husband looks amazing in a baseball uniform. I love the coach. :)

1 comment:

Dianne said...

Such a great writer!!! I could picture the whole scene. And I'm glad you think your husband looks great in baseball pants and that you love the coach!