Well, let me say, that I am not a new grad! I have been a nurse for 5 years, in med-surg, and I have never had a patient "code"! (I shouldn't be saying this, I'll jinx myself!) I have had plenty of patients teetering on the edge---and quickly gotten them off to the ICU, I have had patients go into respiratory distress---pulmonary edema, etc, where they have needed to be intubated on the floor and then transferred, etc...Having a patient code though is my worst nightmare, and I am terrified of the time when it will happen! Where I work, they do not have any sort of "mock codes" and I have never even really gotten into the code cart.
I have not worked at my current hospital very long, but I do not like the "clinical educaton" they have (it is one nurse who is really burnt out, responsible for nursing and "nurse tech" orientation for basically the entire hospital, excluding specialty areas, and makes one feel like an idiot when she is asked a question! I just don't think I could go to her with my "anxiety") My nurse manager and her assistant are very approachable however---I work nights so I really don't see either of them too often
Also, I would like to be more familiar with reading ekg's etc (it's not something I know about, either)
I don't really want to do ACLS training, but I suppose that would make me more knowledgable.
Any words of advice or encouragement??
I definitely feel for you, RGrif. Codes also scare me and like you, I've had patients go south quickly and called Respiratory Therapy or the House Physician STAT, possibly transferred them to ICU, but have never had my own patient code in my 10 years on med-surg. (**knock*on*wood**
) Over the past year, our unit requires that we participate in at least 2 mock codes/year-- many opportunities are given to participate-- and it's helped me a lot. I don't know what it's like at your hospital, but at ours, once you call the code, people come out of the woodwork to help. An ICU nurse is always assigned to codes and is designated to draw up all the meds, and often the house nursing supervisor documents (I work 3-11). The nurse assigned to the patient has the chart and relates pertinent information to the doctor(s) assisting at the code.
We floor nurses are told to focus on the basics until help arrives: "The ABC's"- Airway, Breathing, Circulation. By the time a code is called, a nurse has run for the code cart, another has gotten a backboard under the patient while another sets up the ambu and O2 and a suction cannister. During our mock codes, we all take turns with the various responsibilities until it's more comfortable. We also go through all the drawers of the code cart to become more familiar with it all.
I would strongly advise that you speak with your nurse manager and assistant about your concerns, and about your feelings/observations about your burned-out nurse educator. You and your co-workers deserve much better education than what you're getting, and so do your patients.
Last edit by RN-PA on Oct 8, '04