I'm hospital trained - during my training I had eighteen codes in seventeen months (no, I don't
have Munchausen's by proxy!), so the spooked factor went pretty quickly. After fifteen years in I've probably been involved in a couple of hundred real codes, and it's only recently that my hands have stopped shaking; I still get nauseated after the adrenaline rush dies down, though.
Take the time to check out the crash cart, but don't expect that you'll remember where everything is. Organise a mock crash on your own - maybe on a quiet weekend. Reading ECG's is skill that you have only as long as you use it regularly - it takes no time at all to forget what all those little bumps and dips mean
I imagine ACLS is much the same - if you haven't had any codes yet, odds are you'll forget most of it before you need it.
Now that my hospital has a MET code policy, where we can summon ICU assistance way before patients actually arrest, real codes are something of a rarity, and a lot of my colleagues are a bit freaked by the idea of what to do in a code.
So I'll tell you what I tell them - help arrives really quickly; there's always someone who knows more than you; the most important thing is to keep your head together (it's not you
that's coding, so take a breath; you have time, so take a breath (breathing's important for staff as well as patients
); what you've learned will come to you when you need it; if you're jangly avoid drawing up drugs - your hands will shake; hurrying is bad - be calm and methdical, even if others around you are freaking out; panic is contagious and unnecessary.