I am a new grad working in the busiest ED (but not the highest acuity) in the state. I've been off residency for nearly 3 months now, and get assigned the "front" rooms about 1/3 of my shifts. Last night was the first time I had a patient code on me (not arrive cpr in progress, etc).
Home vent patient, large abdominal wound draining MRSA, SOB and with a syncopal episode. Medics gave a worthless history, which was surprising because they seemed to be at her house routinely. On arrival we had a hard time getting the monitor to read her rhythm without a lot of artifact, so I just pulled the crash cart over and hooked her up to it hoping for a better tracing. I got one - it was a wide, bizzare ventricular EKG that I had a hard time identifying. She was worrying me, so I went out to the nurses station and told one of our 20+ year veterans, "Uh, I'm in over my head in room 10. Can you come take a look at her rhythm with me?" We walked in, took a look at the monitor and watched her go asystole in front of our eyes. The rest of was weird. We coded her for awhile, and she'd get a rhythm back and then lose it. She was semi-conscious, too, pushing the hands away who were attempting CPR at times. We ended up pacing her, but she didn't have much of an underlying rhythm.
I run to get help when I start to get the sinking in my stomach that says "uncharted waters". I want to stay in the high acuity rooms because it is the only way I can learn, but at the same time I feel like I am a burden to the other nurses who come and help me out - they have a full assignment too. And unfortunately we don't staff by acuity.
I'm in over my head, but the only way out is up. I have to keep learning to ever get better. What do you think?