Where do you want your nurse, in the event of a cardiac emergency?

  1. I'm new to the board, so hello everyone.

    I told this to my friends where I work, and have posted it on another board also.

    When I told my CCU friends this story, I was directed to post here. So I am. Feedback is welcome.

    This happened a week ago today.

    I work Med/Surg-ER-CCU, this being small hospital USA. I worked Med/Surg Friday last. My day is going along as per usual, when over head announces CODE BLUE-CCU. We all know what this means. I respond as I am able.

    The code goes along, as codes do. Towards the end of the code, as things are winding down, I hear myself overhead paged. I ask if I can leave to answer said page and got the ok to do so. (People had been leaving one by one as they were dismissed).

    Guess who is on the line? My co-workers from the Med/surg unit telling me to "get your butt out here now and relieve us for break" They don't want to hear how I am at theis code. does matter. They want to go to break. NOW.

    I am furious. I went back and told the shift supervisor, who was also present at he code what I was wanted for. She shook her head and rolled her eyes. By the time the code was ending, I was in charge of record keeping. She asked if I was finished with that and if anyone had a problem with me leaving, then let me leave.

    When I went back to the floor, I saw my two co-works and the assissant nurse manager wave at me from like a block away and they left. They were gone 25 minutes.

    My boss had been at the code also, with the family. She did not know what was going on. She also had to go and sit with an ER patient, as we had a trauma come in at the same time as the code occurred (of course )

    I caught up with one of the girls who had been at the code also and told her I had a quick rant and told her about it. She was floored. Who does this? Who pages someone to come out of a code so they can go to break?

    It took me 6 hours to calm down enough to tell my boss about it. I waited until they were doing staffing, when the shift supervisor wa there also and told my boss about it. I wanted a witness you see. My boss commented that I was pretty calm about the whole thing. I pointed out that she does not know me as well as she thinks she does. This happened at 08:30 am. It was 13:30 pm when I was talking to her about it. I said I thought it was a new high in lows for this bunch.

    Later, I asked the shift supervisor what, if anything, my boss had said. My boss had turned to the shift supervisor and asked, is that true, is that how it happened. Answer was of course, yes.

    Now I don't know what if anything will happen to these people. I may never know.

    By the way, this same guy coded twice more that day. The third time, these girls were at lunch. It was me and one other nurse, and a couple of aides on the floor. Of course, they did not come back from lunch because "CCU has a code, big deal"

    On the upside, this guy is doing well. I took care of him the past two nights. *happy dance*

    Just thought I would post and ask for feedback. Sorry this is so long.

    jj
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   mattsmom81
    Well I guess my question is were you the designated code responder for medsurg that shift. If you were not, your coworkers for the day may have a point....as your responsibility was to medsurg in their eyes. I understand your concern for 'your' unit while you were away and have been in your shoes.
  4. by   cannoli
    Who was taking care of your med-surg patients while you were at the code?
  5. by   poe me
    jjmouse sounds like you had a rough day, but unfortunatly your co-workers could have been more understanding. Nursing can be very stressfull sometimes and when you don't have the support of your collegues this could add more unnecessary pressure that you or the patient don't need. This type of thing happens all the time. And I hope they realize that this could happen to them as well and they will need the support and understanding from others one day.


    Keep Your Head Up!
  6. by   jemb
    When I first read your post, my thought was that your med-surg coworkers were way out of line. Then I re-read your post and became confused about the details.

    Were you a designated person to respond to a code that was out of your work area (on a code team)? You state "I respond as I am able", which sounds like you were not required to do so.

    You also stated that the code was winding down, and people were leaving 'as they were dismissed'. That suggests that there may have been others without their own patient assignments who could have picked up your role in the code.

    I definitely think "Get your butt back here so we can go on break" is unprofessional as well as rude, but if you were not required to respond to the code, your first responsibility would be to those patients assigned to you. (It does seem that the 2 coworkers and the assistant nm could have covered for each other for breaks instead of waiting for you to come back so they could all go together.)

    Since you refer to the facility as "small hospital USA", I wonder if there may be no desginated code team, or no specific policy regarding who responds and what the responsibility is for those who have to leave their assigned patients if a code is out of their 'area of the day'. If there is not a specific policy that is followed by all when there is a code, there needs to be one that will assure that all the patients in the facility are adequately covered during a code, regardless of where the code occurs.
  7. by   bellehill
    I too am curious if you were required to respond to this code. I understand your co-workers concern about needing you back on the floor, but not so they could take a break. Are you part of the "code team"?
  8. by   gypsyatheart
    Hi JJ, and welcome. I guess I have the same questions as the others. Sometimes it is difficult to get the whole story when on these message boards. But what, exactly, was your responsibility, in the code? You were staffing on the M/S floor...but were you carrying the "code" beeper, are you on the code team? Are your co-workers aware of this? I certainly don't like them asking you to come out of a code so they can all 3 go on break together, but, if you really didn't have an obligation to be at the code...I can see where they may have been peeved about it.Maybe the break thing was just a tactic to get you back on the floor?
  9. by   RN-RD
    I would also be interested to know about your code team/response. If you went to the code on your own and were not part of the designated team, your coworkers have a point but could have been more professional about it.

    If you were part of the code team, then I suspect that your coworkers should have inquired about the status of the code before requesting your return to the unit.

    This reminds me of a case I read about awhile ago, where the charge nurse in the ICU of a small hospital was required to attend every code. One day there was a code and the ICU nurse left the unit to attend the code. The ICU was very busy and nobody was able to watch her patient who bled out and died while she was gone. After an investigation, the nurse was charged with patient abandonment because according to the Nurse Practice Act in her state (I cannot remember the state) she had a duty to her ICU patient and not to the coding patient. If I remember correctly she lost her license.
  10. by   Agnus
    Wether there are designated code team members each day or not, is not an excuse for the behavior of the other nurses.

    Stuff happens and we don't get to go on breaks when we want. The remaining nurses needed to relieve one another for break. (take turns little children) If the load was too great for even one of them to take a break in your absense then they might just have to delay gratification. geez
  11. by   mattsmom81
    Well Agnus, I guess I can possibly understand a little attitude if the crew had to cover for a floating nurse who took off to run back to 'her' unit without reassignment, or a good reason. I believe many would possibly call this abandonment.
  12. by   leslie :-D
    whether you were designated as a code member or not, your spirit for teamwork was commendable.....which of course, speaks volumes about the other nurses needing their break. pretty shabby in my eyes.

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