I don't think it's bad at all. I've taken it a couple of times over the years and you spend 80 % of the time learning. You get lots of information and you'll be a better nurse for it, especially during a code. The mega code is not bad. They are not there to mess with you or trick you. Maybe a curve ball here and there, but they are there to help you learn. I think if people have a difficult time with the mega code, it's more about you not paying attention during lecture or just getting stressed when only it's you and everyone is looking at you. Probably more stage fright then anything.
Funny I came across this post b/c I just did my re-cert today. A lot of the guidelines have changed since last time. I when to Heart.org and did the pretest and watched the videos before class and it really helped. Now, airway is not the primary thing now. It's compression. Used to be ABC...airway, breathing, circulation. Now its check responsiveness, check pulse, do compressions, then airway--getting someone to bag or give 2 breaths after you've done cpr for 2 minutes if alone. Giving 2 breaths before compression is no longer indicated....there's no point giving a breath when no blood is circulating. More interruptions of compression = higher mortality. Next- you are required to give compressions while defib is charging up...do not stop. There is no more atropine for PEA (pulseless electrical activity) just Epi and Vasopressin. Atropine is only for bradcardia. Next, you do 2 minutes of compressions AFTER you get a pulse back...you don't stop. When a pulse comes back, the ejection fraction is close to nothing, so you still have to circulate. There are new guidelines on capnography - it is the best indicator of good compression. C02 levels less than 8 = bad compression. It needs to be higher. Calcium and Bicarb are now considered Class III.. they are no longer used. Bicarb is only given if the code has been going on a long time, never give in the beginning of the code.
There is a lot of new stuff this year. And I think it's easier...things are very straight to the point. And if want, sign up for an advanced telemetry class you can identify a rhythm right away (it includes all of the rhythm strips for myocardial infarction.)
During the mega code, some things might be going on and then the instructor will say " And what next?" It's vague and you have understand what they are asking but if you just retrace your steps and talk out loud to yourself, you'll catch it or they will see you have the ability work through it and the instructor will give you a hint and then you run with that. They aren't there to fail you. After it's done, You'll say "that wasn't so bad." Things seem bad when you pause...and say "um", then silence, then give up. Pretend you are the doctor and what you say goes. Have confidence. Delegate. You--ventilate this guy giving one breath every 5-6 secs, continue CPR, "How long since we gave the last epi?" "5 min" Ok, give another amp of epi. "How long has this cycle of compression been going? " "2 min" Ok, pause CPR ,You...do you feel a pulse. "no" Ok continue compressions for 2 minutes. Remember to switch out people doing CPR. Make sure someone is documenting and one for the drugs. Know the rhythms. "He's now in Vfib" OK, you, charge defib kits to 200 joules . Stuff like that. Don't be afraid to take charge. It's your code! Give polite commands and delegate. That's what running a code is all about.