Quote from GeneralJinjur
If you can talk about it with peer nurses, it can be really helpful. I have some friends from nursing school and we vent/debrief as needed. While they don't work with me, they can relate to the stress and I know I can trust them. Now is a good time to be gentle with yourself and accept that it will bug you. I think trying to force yourself to feel what you think you should feel is more harmful than just accepting the occasional thought or feeling as it pops up. I have dealt with some pretty intense situations at my hospital and sometimes, I will have a flashback as I enter one of those rooms or a patient says something similar.
There really is a LOT of truth in this post. Don't force yourself to feel anything other than what you actually do. Don't beat yourself up about what you should
have known or done, looking in retrospect, because you didn't know. Sometimes patients will just die with little warning. I've run quite a few codes, relative to the general population (about 20 or so), and I don't feel like I could have done more for my patients. Why? I did what I could for them and did my best. Our job, when we battle death (and we all will
lose at some point anyway), is to nudge the patient toward life. Sometimes we can give them a pretty good shove toward life, but ultimately, they may be too far down the path to want to do anything other than "listen" to our persuasion.
Try to find someone that can facilitate your debrief and talk it over with the staff that was there. Chances are pretty good that the EMS crew won't have to be there unless it was somehow traumatic for them as well (probably not if it was relatively routine for them). Bottom line: talk it over and process those feelings (even if you feel ambivalent about it) because something
is bothering you enough that you're posting about it here.
And yes, I remember my 1st code, and my most recent one. The rest are mostly a blur, though about 3 or 4 stand out in my memory.