Unexpected instances where your nursing skills came in handy - page 2

Tell us about a time when you least expected that your nursing skills would be called into action. I bet this new husband thinks his nurse wife really rocks!!!!!... Read More

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    Before I became a nurse I started working at a hospital as a transporter. They required us to take CPR of course. Anyways, after taking the course and passing the test, the instructor collapse. At this point almost everyone had left except for me and another co-worker. I was terrifed but my adrenaline kicked in I guess. He had no pulse and was unresponsive. I started CPR. Of course this was the one day there were no other paramedics or nurses in this particular building. It only took about 5 minutes before our paramedics arrived but he did survive.
    noyesno, NurseDirtyBird, SCTravelRN, and 4 others like this.

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  2. 1
    I've told this story before on this site because this is a common thread on this site. I'm not going to go into detail but basically I was on an overseas flight shooting over the Pacific Ocean when the speaker came on with the ultimate Hollywood question "Is there a doctor on board?".

    I responded as well as a doc. Long story short this 72 year old female just had bypass surgery (less then a week is all she could remember), was having difficulty breathing with chest pains. She carried no meds and did not know what meds she took. She allowed me to look through her purse and carry-on but there were no meds. So now the doc is like letting me know that it's all under control and I can go back to my seat.

    Now I'm back in my seat tending to my 14 month old who is sleeping in his baby seat when I look up and see the doc was gone but the women was sitting up in her seat. Now I'm sorry I left because I want to know why this women is still sitting up in her seat. I get the stewardess and relay my concerns. Even the stewardess knows the heart is working overtime sitting up like that even if it is in recline. In a matter of seconds they cleared the row of seats and had the female lie down. I check her out; her chest pain has subsided but she just didn't look good at all (you know the look). I make sure she's comfortable and go back to my seat.

    She was still breathing when we landed 2 hours later. The moment the plane doors opened the EMS people had her off the plane very quickly. I think about her every now and then and hope she made it.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
  3. 2
    My dad was dying in the ER - one year s/p CVA with multiple issues leading to this date...

    I knew he was dying, he knew it and the ER doc knew...but I am sure he felt obligated to suggest a CT scan and so he did. My sister (no medical whatsoever) started to ask how long it was going to take. My brother (EMT) and I both shook our heads and said no, he needs to stay right here, with us.

    I knew it was not going to make a difference and I did not want my dad to die in CT scan, alone......

    My mother (retired RN) hesitated but, after a moment agreed, and so did my dad, he just smiled and closed his eyes. He died about 10 minutes later, with us and not alone.

    I miss him everyday. The phone does not ring around 7:15-7:20 in the evening....the one person in the whole world who ALWAYS loved me unconditionally, slipped away with all of us at his side.

    He is missed even more than I could ever have imagined.
    chevyv and tnbutterfly like this.
  4. 4
    I was at a church Christmas party a year ago and a woman there in her 60s became diaphoretic, sob, and was having indigestion. (Im still in school at this point) My mind immediately went to MI so I got some aspirin and had her chew it and her husband was going to drive her to the ER because she refused EMS. As she was walking out to the car she developed AMS and collapsed to the floor. I checked her carotid pulse and there was nothing. I had someone hold c-spine because she had hit her head and I started compressions and told her husband to call an ambulance. They arrived (what felt like an eternity of doing CPR) and defibrillated her back into a perusing rhythm and took her to the hospital. She ended up being ok but what a night!
  5. 1
    My first job after I graduated was a fixed term contract that started 3 months after I graduated so I went back to working in the bar that I had worked at throughout uni.

    One evening one of the guys was setting up the cocktail bar above where I was working in the main bar. I hear a shout "Karen, Karen" as there is a open lift shaft from the cellar to the 2 bars. I call up, "whats wrong".............. I hear this guy shout get up here I've hurt myself. I run up the stairs and find my friend with an arteiral laceration to his wrist where a bottle of vodka fell from the optic onto his outstreched arm.

    I pulled my apron off and wrapped it around his wrist as someone from the kitchen was pulling their car around to take him to the doctor that the owner had called.

    he was fine after a litre of fluids and a repair of his lac.
    tnbutterfly likes this.
  6. 1
    One night at work, my friend, a tech, was complaining of having to pee more often than usual and being very thirsty. I have no idea what possessed me, but I checked her blood sugar. (She had no medical history, is in her early 30s and has no family history of diabetes, either). It was over 400! Can you say newly diagnosed diabetic? I marched her butt to the ED!
    tnbutterfly likes this.
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    Back when I had first finished nursing school for my BSN and before I had taken the boards, I was home in the apt. where I lived when I heard all of this shouting and commotion outside of my window so I went out to investigate. When I got outside I found one of the children (a boy about 9 years old) sitting on the step and his grandmother screaming and running about the yard. I quickly assessed the situation and saw that the boy was squirting blood from his right carotid. Apparently the kids were playing on some concrete blocks that were being formed and used as a barricade for other construction being done. The problem was that they use still rods inside the huge concrete bodies and had not encased them in the concrete yet. The kids were walking on top of the concrete items and this child had slipped causing the beam to puncture his carotid. I set one person to call 911 and sent another to grab a towel for me which I used to apply pressure to his neck. I had the boy lie down while I did this. I instructed is grandmother (whom I knew because I had used her for my "life assessment project") to calm down because her anxiety was causing him to panic and increasing his adrenalin. I kept the boy still and calm while applying pressure until the ambulance came.

    Later that day the boys aunt came around (she was a police woman). She wanted to thank me for saving his life. She said that she was informed by the medical staff that without my quick thinking he would have bled out and died. There was no other recognition or acknowledgement about my act made but that's all right. That feeling really made me feel good and reinforced the fact that I was in the right field for me.
  9. 2
    My grandmother came to visit and one night I walked to the bathroom and found her sitting with the door wide open and she had a dazed expression on her face and couldn't answer any questions. I immediately checked her BG and it was 35! I didn't have any gel or anything and so I ended up giving her orange juice with sugar in it. I'm just glad she could swallow. I was still a student when this happened. Afterwards, I made sure to check her BG every single night and give her a snack and get her doses of meds adjusted. Good experience though and now I can recognize low glucose levels way before most people can, just by looking at someone or hearing their voice.
  10. 1
    Still a student here but I've already had to utilize some training. This was actually about 4 years ago, when I was fresh out of high school and EMT-B classes (didn't get certified), and newly married. We had a drive by outside of our apartment and afterwards could hear people screaming so we went outside. The shooters were gone and there were 2 people that had been hit (not even the intended targets). The young woman had been struck in the arm and was standing there with blood pouring down her arm, and a young man was lying in the shadows on the ground, 2 men were already attending to him. I don't remember much because of the adrenaline. I do remember yelling to bystanders for towels or something for the woman's arm, trying to get her to lie on the ground, and she kept crying and saying it hurt.
    When I finally made it over to the young man, the 2 men there already had his c-spine stabilized but they couldn't get the bleeding to stop, and there were no exit wounds to be found. I remember having my hand on his face and trying to get him to talk to me but I could tell (even with my overall lack of experience) that he wasn't hearing me. I remember it took forever for police and EMS to arrive because the area was not secure, and then later hearing that the suspects had been running through the complex with guns, trying to find somewhere to hide, while we were out there helping those people.
    The young man did pass away, they said on the news that it was en route, but I still can't shake the feeling that it was while I was there talking to him, and feeling like there was more that I could have done. That was the night I realized I wanted to be a trauma nurse.
    tnbutterfly likes this.

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