do any of you like codes??

  1. i have a confession...i like codes, ok, i love codes.

    i don't like that i like them, because, i know it means a human being is in big trouble. but my heart gets pumping, pin point pupils, adrenaline racing, my entire being focuses intesely on the moment....just thinking about it gets me excited.

    even when they are over, the after glow keeps me going for hours. sometimes when the floor gets slow, i "almost" want a code.

    my moral compass tells me this is wrong. i should not "want" a human to code. but i know they will, and the hospital is the safest place on earth for it to happen, and i want to be there when it happens.

    does any body else feel this way??
    i should also point out....i get very anxious and nervous when pt's expire. and aftercare makes me shake for about a day or two. i don't like death.

    any meaningful comment would be appreciated.
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  2. 70 Comments

  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    I like stuff that gets my arenaline flowing. ED appeals to me.

  4. by   drmorton2b
    In the Psych Hospital we never have a Code Blue, all though the Code Blue does mean the same thing it would mean in any acute care setting. Sometimes Code Greens (Psych Emergency) which can be interesting depending on the patient. Interesting in the way the car team comes together and talks to the patient d resolves the problem. Other times it just sucks its like you see on TV, except for the part about the MD not going to the Code Green and the staff having to wait to give an IM of something from the MD's orders. As a Pharmacy Tech I try to stay away from the Code Greens.
  5. by   tddowney
    I was an EMT before being a nursing student, and, yeah, I like codes.

    Codes are going to happen as long as people remain mortal, so it seems to me that those who like them are more likely to be good at it. If that's the case, then it gives the patient a little bit better chance of survival.
  6. by   EricJRN
    While it does seem a little morbid and almost perverse to 'want' a code, I can understand it. Sometimes in nursing it can be difficult to see any immediate results from our actions. This is where a code really stands apart.

    In an arrest situation, with lots of hard work, all the right drugs, good CPR and the help of electricity, we can literally bring someone back to life. (We usually don't, but we can.)
  7. by   TheCommuter
    I absolutely detest codes. It's probably due to the fact that I work in a nursing home, where codes are rarely successful when performed on elderly hearts that are already diseased and/or enlarged.
  8. by   drpsrn
    Ryan I understand what you mean. I would think that most critical care/ED nurses also have the same sort of feelings. Codes are where you get to use all your skills and judgement and they are exciting to be a part of. Death of a patient you have worked hard to try to save is a hard thing to deal with. I do not think ill of your feelings though some people in this field do not feel the same. Good luck to you.
  9. by   danh3190
    Speaking as a paramedic, I hate the fact that somebody's life is in danger, but it is nice to have an opportunity to do what we've been trained to do. Most of the time I feel like a taxi service.
  10. by   UM Review RN
    I totally understand the conflicting feelings about Codes.

    Many of our Codes are successful, many more than in the field. Until I saw successful Codes and knew what was happening and could intelligently participate, I hated them.

    I don't find myself "wanting" anyone to Code, but I agree that a Code situation is exciting. For me, every hair quite literally stands on end, so I guess it must be the adrenaline rush. It's similar to a runner's high, so I think it's a chemical thing. It takes me a few hours to come down from that, if a Code is successful.

    If unsuccessful, unless it was a patient who was terminal and suffering, it takes even longer to come down and process all the information and the emotions that are evoked by being there in that life-and-death situation.

    In general, I hate it when people die. It makes me feel frustrated, angry, impotent, yet keeps me humble, and reminds me of my own (and my loved ones') mortality.

    To say that I admire and respect the teamwork and expertise of the Code Team gathered in the room would be an gross understatement; I'm in absolute awe of these skilled practictioners--Respiratory, Nursing and MDs.

    It's amazing and it's an honor to be a part of a Code; it's quite literally a rebirth for a successful life snatched away from Death.

    You might think that sounds too dramatic, but if you've ever participated in a successful Code, you know that it's far more intense than mere drama.

    Yes, better that no one Codes. But it happens and I'm glad there are some of us attending that Code who know what they're doing and want to be there.
  11. by   nursemike
    Before I became a nurse, my involvement in codes was very limited. Usually just help move the pt to ICU afterwards, but occassionally peripherally involved in help those actually doing the code. Once I just had a co-worker get me an empty sharps box and assigned myself to collect sharps, since the sharps box in the room was far from the bed.
    In those days, codes were pretty interesting, but I was pretty detached. I did understand, though, when a nurse I like remarked after one: "Sometimes I enjoy a good code."
    As a nurse, I've had one patient code, and one who had to be cardioverted from severe A-fib. I hated it. The cardioversion was successful, and I did what I could to assist, but all I really wanted to do was hide in the med room and let the "grown-ups" handle it. Scared the crap out of me, and it was a patient I had really gotten close to.
    The code was worse. Pt revived, but later taken off life-support in ICU. As primary nurse, I started the code, but soon after the team arrived, I was sent to call report to the ICU. It took days for the code team to arrive, which is odd, because they are amazingly quick.
    So, I do understand how you feel, but can't say I feel the same. I just love a shift where everything goes as expected and all God's children are safe in their beds.
    I frequently work in our epilepsy unit, where patients hope to have their typical seizures so we can record them for diagnosis. It can be a kind of boring assignment, since a lot of the patients aren't very sick, other than the seizure disorder. It can be frustrating, since it's a lot like taking your car to the garage for a funny noise--they can seize every day for a month, then go a week at the hospital, off meds, with no activity.
    Even so, I've been known to tell those with a good sense of humor about it that there's no shame if they want to wait to seize on day shift.
  12. by   DanEMT
    I to get excited when faced with a code. I'm not a nurse yet so all my experiences have been in the field in other than prime settings ie. on the floor stuffed between the bed and the dresser, other EMT's and a few medics. The most exciting thing I have been a part of was a cardioversion while the PT was still awake. It was successfull, the rhythm was broken before we left the house, I've never seen anything like it. The medics were unbelievable. Cardiac thump and shock.... insane. Took me hours before I can down off that one.
  13. by   anonymurse
    I love codes. And I don't feel guilty. People are going to code and they're going to do it whether I'm there or not. Everyone is communicating, sharing knowledge, assessing, thinking, and acting like a team like they're supposed to all the time--but rarely do. Everyone's at their best, and I like seeing everyone in that state.
  14. by   burn out
    I like to prevent codes...the outcomes are better. i like to take a pt that is circle-ing and see if I can turn things around.

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