blue rapids

My First Code Blue

And honestly, it was really only a code in the sense that someone hit the code blue button and all eight of the hospital’s respiratory therapists showed up. My patient never lost a pulse, just stopped breathing long enough that her SpO2 was 24% and she was entirely unresponsive (I sternal rubbed and applied nailbed pressure like a panicked champ, as did my preceptor and the former paramedic/emergency/ICU nurse who works on our floor (except she didn’t panic. She pretty much was like “welp, its a tuesday, itsn’t it” and went about her life)).

But I found myself running down the hallway with a vial of narcan that I’d override-pulled from the pyxis thinking “omg this is it, the first major medical emergency of my nursing career” and then promptly stood there in front of my unresponsive patient, frozen with indecision because there’s probably some special way you’re supposed to push narcan and I have no idea what the correct dose should be and did I have to sign it off in the computer first because I’d just overrode it and f*ck f*ck f*ck f*ck.

And then my preceptor pulled the vial out of my hand and just kinda slammed the whole thing into my patient’s IV. Then I gave a really terrible report to everyone who showed up, put at least two of the leads in the wrong place for the 12-lead EKG, and promptly forgot what the verbal orders for continuing care after the code team had left and had to page them back and ask them.

Overall, no one died and I’m chalking it up to a solid learning experience. I think I will be a lot more helpful should the situation arise again. I also may chart it a lot more effectively if I actually remember the times everything happened.

Thank you to all my coworkers who didn’t yell at me and saved my patient’s butt. You were all awesome and it was a pleasure to see you all in action.

… I feel almost bad asking this, but does anyone else have a first code/medical emergency story they’d like to share? Because right now I’d like some reassurance that I’m not the only person who has f*cked up this badly…

Nobody outside of the OR will ever know if there’s a code in the OR bc we never call the rapid response team & we don’t announce a “Code Blue”...

WE are the rapid response team, our anesthesiologist or surgeon is the team leader, the OR circulator usually starts the CPR or the surgical tech starts the CPR & the circulator records. The charge nurse will come in & everyone else in the OR who are free will come in to help & one nurse will be responsible for medications & multiple anesthesiologists may also come in the room to respond. A resident or another OR nurse will be in charge of the defibrillator. Our crash cart is literally just the defibrillator because all the ACLS drugs are in the anesthesia pyxis & we also grab an ACLS box from our main pyxis for more medications if we run out. 

Note: doctors prefer not to call it in the OR because the OR will be investigated & at the end of the code, the OR nurse who was in that case has to fill up an incident report


Wild Stehekin by zh3nya
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Oh my god please let me go home over-excited intern. I’m on my evening call night and we just have to admit one patient before going home. Every other med student who’s done this was able to admit and go home by 8. But it’s been an insane night on the floor (rapids, code blue, a death, an icu transfer), and the ER has been super quiet. Despite feeling like I got hit by a train today, we’ve gotten no admits and the intern wants me to stay until I get one. I’m exhausted and I really don’t want to wait around however long it takes for another patient to show up at the ER, get triaged, and get admitted.

Originally posted by n-wordbelike