Okay, I didn't think this would bother me as much as it does but I had my first patient die today. All my patients are kind of on the edge but generally make it out. I work in a cardiac unit that basically doubles as an ICU step down/Intermediate care unit. I've been lucky so far in 6 months of nursing (yes, I'm a newby) nobody has coded on me. However, this came out of the blue today on a patient I never would have guessed was in distress.
My issue? I have the certs: BLS, PALS, ACLS and a few degrees: ADN, passed all my BSN courses and working on my RN to MSN-NP, I also have a BS in Anatomy and a D.C. degree. All that to say I don't know squat in a code situation. I felt so incompetent not knowing where to begin and what was going on. Yes, I remember the parts/pieces but my ACLS class was videos by a paramedic talking using plastic dummies. How about you guys? Is this typical in a first code situation to stand back and watch? I feel bad b/c that's MY patient and I wanted to help not just do post-mortem care, I have knowledge not skills, and the other nurses know I've got background (albeit useless in this situation).
I will say this inadequate feeling is not specific to this situation. Heck, I've felt this way since day one but I've progressed a lot in 6 months I think (maybe not?). I'm just really tired of feeling helpless and only able to contribute 70-80% to my patients because I just don't have the experience or specific job knowledge. Sucks. I'm used to knowing what to do and that just ain't gonna happen anytime soon and I'm overwhelmed with learning bedside nursing AND advanced practice nursing. Yes, it all has similarities to what I already know as a D.C. but the information is used differently and the skills are vastly different. Thanks for reading my story...looking forward to hearing your experiences.