I've been a nurse less than a year and a few days ago I experienced my first code. Two or three weeks ago we had a pt where a code was called but it wasn't a true code, even then I was terrified and fumbled as to what to do. This time it was my patient.
I was in the med room pulling some meds for another pt when a tech came in and said my pt was complaining of chest pain. So me and another nurse went down to the room and to assess the pt, we did vitals and had a stat ekg done and labs drawn. Long story short, he then coded. I again fumbled and just searched for something to do and felt so helpless, so I just reached for the ambu bag and tried to quickly get the tubing unraveled and it seemed to take forever to get it hooked up to oxygen. When other nurses and more helped arrived, another nurse told me to record. So I started to write stuff down and then another nurse asked If I had recorded before and I told her I hadn't, so she took over. So during the code I just observed and went and got supplies as they were needed. I felt so horrible, standing in the back and this was my pt whom everyone else was trying to save. I always hesitate in new situations and scared to make the first move. When it was all over, my patient didn't make it. The rest of the night I kept running through my mind the whole situation. I kept wondering if the other nurses thought any less of me, in my mind I was thinking if your not doing something to help then get out of the way. Even now, I keep thinking before the code was called I should have moved faster and done things differently.
Feb 2, '14
I haven't taken ACLS yet. In school we did a sim lab where we did a mock code and I feel like I was supposed to know what to do, but I didn't react. The entire code looked like organized chaos. Before a bunch help arrived it was just me, two other nurses and a Dr. The Dr said epi pen, and I couldn't even figure out how to open the crash cart, then I couldn't open the case that had the meds in it because it had those stupid green zip tie things on it, I should have just ripped the thing open.
My mind just seemed to go blank. I couldn't even remember back to my BLS certification. I seemed to just freeze and not know whether to start compressions or what to even do. I went to a code in the ED one day, but when I got there everything was under control so I just watched. Up until this time, I had never seen a code where compressions were started and the crash cart was used. I was so fortunate to have a great team of experienced nurses to work with.
Last edit by Squirrely18 on Feb 2, '14