Come On! Breathe!

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    so i've been at my new job for almost 3 weeks. i won't say that i like it. truth be told, i hate it. i don't know anyone, so i can't be myself. i just show up and try to do my best for my patients for my shift. 90% of the time, i question whether i really want to continue being a nurse. it seems like all i do is pass out drugs and cater to ridiculous requests.

    so the other night, i was moodily hanging iv fluids. i was thinking to myself how monotonous and boring med/surg was getting because it was the same old thing: assess, chart, pass out drugs. all of a sudden, from down the hall, i hear this:

    "come on!!!! breathe maria! breathe! come on breathe!"

    i didn't even consider the fact that the hollering was not even coming from a room on my unit. i just naturally walked towards the commotion to see what the hell was going on. i find where the noise is coming from and i see a big fat lady slumped sideways in the bed and 2 nurses hollering in her face, trying to get her to breathe. without thinking, i walked over to the patient and gave her a hard sternal rub. no response. no pulse either. time to get her on the bed and call a code.

    here comes the adrenaline dump! we get her on the bed, i climb up on the mattress and start doing chest compressions (being thankful that this patient was a big feel ribs breaking on the skinny ones. at the same time though, your energy expenditure triples when you do compression on the hefty ones. six of one, half a dozen of the other i guess). her lips were black from lack of oxygen. her eyes were open, but they weren't seeing anything. every time i did a compression, her tongue would push out of her mouth. it was black too. she was dead and we were trying make her alive again.

    i wish i could explain how the brain functions in these situations. it's like your mind is slowly cruising along taking in the scenery, and all of a sudden it accelerates like a jet taking off; but instead of being buckled in and grabbing the armrests, you have to get up and walk down the aisle to make sure every passenger is ok. it's hard to keep your balance.

    we got a rhythm back on maria. she was intubated and went to icu. i don't know how she's doing. does it make sense when i say that i almost don't want to know?

    when the code was over, i walked out of the room, back to my unit, and said, "well that sucked." another nurse laughingly said, "it's too early in the morning for a code!" i laugh back and say, "no kidding. my arms are going to be sore tomorrow now."

    we laugh and joke about things like this, but it's just our game face. if i told you how i really felt about it, it would make it too real. so i just kept walking and went back to what i was doing before things hit the roof.

    so much for my complaints about monotony, and so much for my questioning whether i want to continue being a nurse. i cannot imagine doing anything else.
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