After nearly two full weeks of training and orientation I was finally scheduled to work on my unit. It was a 12 hour shift (7a-7:30p), so when I got up at 5:00 am, I knew by the time I got home around 8:30 pm I was gonna be wiped. It was so great to be back and see so many familiar faces. It was a whirlwind of a day and of course, problems arose all at once rather than consecutively. I spent a large part of the date observing IV drug administration and getting all my passwords set-up for the time clock, the computer, the pyxis machine (it's like a pop machine, but it dispenses drugs at no charge).
I had my first up close and personal experience with an Indiana pouch. I think those things are so cool! Patients that have an ostomy bag on the outside of their body that can smell and must be emptied often suffer from self-image issues, but this internal pouch is pretty sweet for those who need new bladders. The stoma itself just looked like a second belly button off to the left of my patient's abdomen. The patient said catheterizing himself at regular intervals was pretty painless too.
We've added tele to our floor since I was there as an undergrad and reading EKG's has become more common. I didn't care for them in my first undergrad and I still don't much enjoy counting the little boxes and trying not to go blind as I measure the PR interval or the QRS complex, but I am definitely better at it after spending two full eight hour days reviewing the material earlier in the week.
Anyway, I was sitting at the nurse's station with about 45 minutes left of my day when I heard this strange noise that kind of sounded familiar to me, but I couldn't place it. Out of the corner of my eye, around me, I saw a few nurses jump up quickly and call out a room number as they headed down the hall. It registered at that point what it was. "Oh sh*t!!" A code blue really? On my first freakin' day back, just when I was almost done!!!" I jumped up and hauled ass down the hall to the patient's room. It had been the tele monitor alarm indicating the patient's heart rythm was a flat line. I was thinking two things, man I am not ready for this and if I was going to be in on this code, I definitely wanted to do compressions or bag the guy. No way was I gonna put the central line in, if needed or push atropine, epinephrine, etc into said line.
Luckily, when I got to the room, it turned out the patient was trying to get up to go the bathroom and had pulled a wire. CHEESE AND RICE PEOPLE!!! I was relieved, no code today for me. I went back to my desk and prayed I would make it to 7:30 pm without any more codes or craziness. The full moon was Saturday, not today. I had a chance at normalcy and freedom still.
Exhausted at 7:45pm I dropped off my time sheet and headed for the elevators. I made it down to ground floor and had to get through the J building to get out by my car, but before I escaped I could see a couple looking a little confused. I knew they were lost and I debated stopping. I stopped. They were lost and I ended up taking a ten minute detour into another building and up the elevators to escort them to the appropriate floor. They told me their daughter was extremely sick and while I was exhausted, I wasn't sick and no one I loved was either. The extra few minutes it took to help them were well spent. I left them in the waiting room of the unit their daughter was being transferred into and headed back out. Finally, made it to my car a few minutes after 8:00 pm. I was ready to head home.
Day 1: DONE