Monday, April 14, 2014

Oxygen is a privelege, not a right. Right?

I had a moment of slight alarm when I put the Sp02 monitor on my patient the other day and it read 89%. "Do you have any history of COPD, sir?" I asked. "Or maybe any other breathing problems?"

He looked at me with a blank face, so I quickly pulled a nasal cannula off the wall and started to apply it. The nurse who was precepting me was like, hey, he probably doesn't need that. I was all "yeah okay, I guess oxygen isn't all that important but whatevs" and kept putting the NC on. The guy denied feeling short of breath, tired, or anything. So I go to turn on the O2 at 2 L, and again my preceptor is telling me that he probably doesn't need it. In my head I'm thinking she's a crazy person because we all need oxygen, right?

Then she gets one of those lightbulb moment faces, and asks if this is my first job at altitude. I answer yes, and she looks all satisfied.

Three minutes later, I'm educated on the fact that apparently everyone here in Denver lives in the 89-100% range, instead of the more common 95-100% non-COPD range for everywhere else. The more you know, I guess?

I dunno. I still put the oxygen on, because I just felt more comfortable doing that. No one's gonna die from hypoxia if I have any say about it, dammit.


Lisa said...
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Lisa said...

I had a sleep study done several years ago. They had to stop the study and go straight to the titration study after a few hours because my oxygen levels were going into the 60's. Before I even went to the follow up visit the medical equipment company called me in to pick up a cpap machine. A couple of years ago I was hospitalized after fainting. The doctor had agreed that I needed a cpap machine but the nurse said that ordering one was too much trouble. Too much trouble? What was too much trouble was running back into the room to turn off the monitor alarm every few minutes. Instead of ordering a cpap she turned off the monitor alarm. I wish I'd had a nurse like you.

Aesop said...

Consider yourself briefed for your flight nursing orientation as well.

At least the preceptor didn't audibly sigh and say , "Geez, flatlanders!"

Nurse Kitty said...

Crazy, I honestly had no idea about that either.

ZJKeener said...

I didn't know that was the case I'll have to pass on that info to a fellow student who is interested in flight nursing. It is good she took the time to explain it. I understand the feeling of still applying oxygen it doesn't come naturally to step outside our learned standards especially for me as a student.

Anonymous said...

That is hilarious, "yeah okay, I guess oxygen isn't all that important but wharves" literally laughed out loud, but yes very interesting never thought about that!