Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My first code!

So in clinical today, I experienced my first code...sort of. Actually, I observed one in the ER last semester, but I don't know if it actually counts because she had been coding for almost an hour by the time she got there. But I digress.

The code tonight wasn't my patient, but she did belong to one of the other girls in clinical. She had been checked on, and was fine, made it to the bathroom and back in bed, then promptly started agonal respirations, then stopped altogether. The crash cart was wheeled in, and I swear people rappelled in from all directions, windows, and maybe even an AC vent. Unfortunately, I had the vantage point from the hallway...not very good.

In the end, it turned out to be a pretty crappy code. One of the nurses didn't know how to push the epi, there was no team leader, and the doctor said "she's going to die anyway, just stop the code." I was surprised how unprepared people were, even though it looked like everything was going well. She ended up coming back around, but I don't think I'll forget this for a long time. Lesson learned: always be prepared, and know how to do stuff!


the anonymous therapist said...

This sounds like what we in RT call the "floor code." Codes in the ICU and the ER tend to be well-run and smooth simply because everybody present has coded many, many people before. But the floors tend to be different. Since patients rarely code there, most people do not know what to do, and the codes tend to be a lot more scatterbrained and disorganized and chaotic. Also, a lot of inexperienced people with the best of intentions often wind up calling codes on patients who are either in rigor mortis or who are just deep sleepers.

But anyway, be prepared is an excellent lesson to learn. And just remember: don't panic. Panic only makes it worse.

shrtstormtrooper said...

You're exactly right, everyone kind of looked at each other, with a "what do we do now?" kind of look.

A patient coded on my ICU rotation, and now that I know what to look for, it was very neat to see how well staff responded to it.

I'd better get used to these if I hope to be an ER nurse!