Tell me about your first save as a nurse

  1. In honor of Nurse's Week I would like to salute all the wonderful nurses in this country and abroad. RN'S and LPN's stand up and take a well deserved bow, for you touch and save lives everyday. Which leads me to ask When was your first save as a nurse, andhow did you feel afterward? Happpy? Scared? about to barf? All of the above??? Please share your first save stories. I'm in need of a little inspiration. Love to all, Warrior Woman.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Diana in Sweden
    ok I was working in LTC and in the evening I also had responsibilty for a resident home were they could mainly fend for themselves with the help of one CNA per 30 resident or so ... I was just supposed to be on call...well I get called ... ( this was my first jobb as a RN and I was pretty green) ...anyhow I get that a man had a bit of a cough... yupp pulmonary edema... I called the hospital, neither of us knew the patient. I got a line in and he had a diuretic and he recovered just fine ..... pretty scarey as a new nurse ...
  4. by   mattsmom81
    I was in my senior student rotation and I caught an early tension pneumothorax. A young woman had sustained repeated CVC attempts, I caught the symptoms early, got to assist with the chest tube placement...even got an attaboy from the resident. Felt great too!!!.

    I remember my second and third save too...we remember these from our first tentative years as new nurses.

    Second, anaphylactic reaction to Demerol.

    Third, anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting...an infant at a water park (I was working first aid there)

    Happy Nurses Week to all of us...WE know we save lives!!!!
  5. by   rn500
    You know, I can't remember my FIRST one... not to make it sound like I'm supernurse, I've just been doing this a long time. I've resuscitated my share of babies, had babies out (c-section) within 7 minutes of decision to cut, held the hands of moms who were afraid they or their babies were going to die...

    thanks for this thread... it reminds me why some days this job worthwhile :-)
  6. by   gwenith
    I can't remember my first save but a recent one had me just about dislocating my arem patting myself on the back,

    Small female patient had a VT arrest earlier in teh day on a Lignocaine drip. LOC - well GCS was still 14/15 but she was becoming more and more difficult to rouse - day staff stated that she was probably just post resus. but a little birdie was whistling loudly in my ear. Took her vitals and noted she had "cluster breathing" - what the..... THAT's brainstem!!!! Got ABG's drawn and contacted Medical registra. To complicate matters she had orignally been admitted to hosptial after a fall at home and had severe facial bruising. Long story short it was the lignocaine - no-one else had seen this form of respiratory depression from it before. Got a big pat on the back for recognising the abnormal breathing pattern even if I had to explain what cluster breathing was!
  7. by   RNCENCCRNNREMTP
    Originally posted by gwenith
    I can't remember my first save but a recent one had me just about dislocating my arem patting myself on the back,

    Same here, had a man come to ER with 1 month of ear and chest burning that was exacerbated by "strong chemical smells (perfume, etc)". No exertional component. Had a funny feeling about him. Put him on cardiac side of ER with a few funny looks from staff. 1st EKG stone, cold normal!(even said so by cardiologist). Put in an IV and drew blood. 10 minutes later.....V-Fib. 3 shocks from a biphasic deib and now NSR with EKG now showing anterior MI. TNK to the rescue and is alive and well today!
  8. by   cmggriff
    I don't remember my first either, I remember my best. I was the charge RN on the night shift in an ICU. I had 3 newbies working with me. They had all started about the same time less than 2 years before. I had helped train them after they came down to the night shift. I was used to being their resource and answering their questions. This night one of their patients went south and eventually coded. They did the whole code without me. Did everything right and never missed a beat. Yeah, that was the best night of my career. Gary
  9. by   LuvLife
    I love that one Gary! You sound like an great teacher!!
  10. by   AHarri66
    Gary, that's awesome! What a satisfying feeling that must have been for you, and your crew.

    My first came right after my second semester of nursing school, while I was working as a home health aide over the summer. I showed up at 3p, and the off-going aide said "Bob's been a little punky today." After she left, "Bob" wanted to go lay down. After a few minutes I noticed he kept tapping his hand on his bedside table in an agitated sort of way. I went in to check him, and he kept saying he was "fine", but I could tell his breathing was off. I wanted to go get my stethoscope, but he didn't want me to leave the room, and asked me to hold his hand. (He was a big, burly former contractor--not the hand-holding type at all.) I convinced him to let me get the 'scope, and when I returned, I heard gurgles all the way up. (!) I called 911 per protocol, and off he went.

    I was told later that the ER doc commended whoever made the call...5 more minutes and it would have been the end of Bob.

    "Punky" my a$$!
  11. by   Jay-Jay
    Home health nurses don't usually get to resuscitate patients, but we do catch those that are about to 'go south' now and then. My first save was an 80 something diabetic who was nearly blind and lived alone. The previous week, the case manager had asked me to visit her on Monday instead of Friday, so she would have someone coming in every day of the week, except the weekend.

    Monday morning rolls around...no answer to my phone call. Call back...line is busy. Operator confirms it's off the hook. Finally get ahold of the daughter, who tells me where to find a spare key in the garage. I let myself in to find her lying semi-conscious on the bed. All she can say is "I don't feel very good." I call 911, and while I'm waiting, try to get some sugar into her, but she can't sit up, and there's no straws. When the paramedics arrive, they test her BS and it's 2.3. They give her 2 packets of glucose gel, and within 20 minutes are able to get her to walk down the stairs to the stretcher. She was admitted to hospital, then a nursing home.

    Often shudder to think what would have happened if the CCAC case manager hadn't changed the day of my visit.

    Second one... 60-ish lady with a DVT, on Fragmin (low molecular wt. heparin). About the third visit, she's c/o blurred vision, headache, and generally feeling unwell. BP is elevated too. I start to think 'intracranial bleed.' I call the GP, and he's not too concerned, and tells me to go ahead and give her the needle. "I'll drop by and see her sometime this afternoon," he says.

    When he does, he realizes I was right, this lady IS in big trouble. "Get your coat on," he tells her, "I'm driving you to the hospital!" (Read between the lines: so we don't have to worry about ambulance redirect to a hospital where no one knows your history, and where I don't have visiting priviledges!)

    Luckily it was a very minor bleed. They d/c'd the fragmin, and she was fine. This particular doctor is now on my list of all-time favorites for his prompt response, AND the pt. was so grateful to me that she took me out to lunch!
  12. by   MartL
    post deleted--violation of TOS
    Last edit by prmenrs on May 12, '03
  13. by   healingtouchRN
    can't remember the first either but do remember this one.... several years ago I was in CCU & this 60's man from my dad's home town was just not looking right, a little green around the gills, well, anyhoo, he kept me talking to him, then said "just stay with me". He had developed a new murmur, a little more diaphretic, I called the cardio. on call, who was there in 7-8 minutes from home! She said he's ruptured a papillary muscle, let's go to the lab, he's infarcting....well, he had 3 vessel dz in the lab, she consulted surgeon...he goes to CABG surgery & ruptures his myocardium after the sternotomy! He was repaired, & he lived after a long stay (6 weeks) in our humble hospital for a little extra TLC. He wife was greatful for more time with her honey! Cardiologist did give me a pat on the back for the quick intervention, getting the teams coodinated.....man, it gives me rush everytime I remember it.
    & there was that baby girl me & my buddy Dana delivered in a hallway on the way to get a soda & chips. That baby would be about 7 years old now !
  14. by   ScarlettRN
    I can't remember the first one....time and age does that to you. I do remember one of my favorite ones. I had been in the ER less than 6 months. Small ER with 4 beds. It was one of those days when everything is going wild and I had been called in early just to cover all the over-run. There were pts in Xray and stuck in the hall, etc. and because at the moment I was the only one free, I was asked to check on the man who had just walked into triage. Chest pain. I took one look at him and all that drilling from an excellent preceptor took over. NUMBER 1 get that man on a monitor and see the heart and don't worry about anything else right now. I didn't have a datascope in triage, so I had to go into the chaos and pull one out of the far corner, tripping over the 6 people who were prepping the guy in the middle bed for the helicopter, and get back and hook him up. ST elevation....fireman's hat. I come out of triage to get whatever supplies I need to start his workup and all the time I am calling out " ST elevation in triage! Chest pain in triage" and grabbing supplies. I put his feet up on the other chair and proceeded to ASA and NTG and start IV and draw blood....the ER doc happened to walk past the door and I grabbed his arm and literally turned his body toward the monitor to get him to look at it and all of a sudden, the green light went on. We got the nearest bed cleared out (no idea what they did with that patient) and we got him started on Retavase and were able to get him stabilized in less than an hour.
    On occasion when we are sitting around talking about the hairy scary days, that one still comes up, and I still feel good about it, cause it was all so new and it was a good catch.
    Ya know, in spite of the ambulances, some of the worst stuff walks in the door on it's own...

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