Oh man. After all these years, my brain-to-mouth filter finally shit the bed at the most inopportune time. A couple of us were taking care of this critically ill dude in respiratory distress, and having a tough time of it. Everything that could go wrong at first was - the EMS initiated IV line blew while the mag was infusing, I had to drag in the sono-site for another line because he had shitforveins, and the horde of residents were generally the worst.
We were trying to get an EKG after they had refused to let us give even the tiniest bit of ativan to ease the stress of BiPAP, and it was going about as well as one can guess. Meaning it wasn't going at all. We're struggling to keep the guy from anxiously moving and pulling his mask and leads off, and he just can't sit still. This continues for at least five minutes. We get a sort-of okay EKG and hand it over to the resident. He glances at it and announces to the entire room that "this EKG is terrible, you all need to get a better one. Or go get someone who can."
Of course, of course, I'm the most senior nurse in the room. The other two nurses with me are super intelligent and great nurses, but they're still new. And nice. So they say nothing. And of course, of course, I'm also the biggest dick in the room because I mutter, "you can see that we're obviously doing our best with this guy, but please, continue to stand there and criticize without doing anything. Or fuck off, which would actually be more helpful."
I'm not sure if the patient heard me or was able to comprehend anything. But the rest of the room sure as shit heard it. I did see one of the other residents trying to hold back a laugh, and both of the nurses had looks of either horror or awe on their faces, but I'm wondering if this will earn me a write up. The EKG resident didn't say anything, but he didn't stick around for long after that. We got the guy up to the ICU shortly thereafter anyway.
Ugh. I get that you can't read an EKG full of artifact, but I also can't magically pull a beautiful tracing out of my ass when the guy is too sick to sit still or comprehend why we're telling him to. But whatever. I'm not sorry.