Terrified in the OR

  1. :imbar I've been in the operating room for a little over year now. When a patient started to crash last week, a seasoned scrub technician that was not scrubbed in began drawing up anesthesia meds at the direction of the anesthesiologist. I was stunned but everyone else acted like it was business as usual. What should I have done????
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   CuttingEdgeRN
    Did she just draw them up or actually give them? I am sure she draws lots of meds up on her back table for the surgeon to give. Hopefully she knew she couldn't actually give them. You could have insisted on taking over if the MD actually asked her to administer the drugs.
  4. by   laneyRN
    He just drew the medication up....he did not administer it. Although he has experience with meds on the fiield, he was drawing up succ's from the anesthesia cart. What would you have done?
  5. by   CuttingEdgeRN
    Nothing needed to be done, as long as he wasn't administering them. As I said before, insisted on taking over if MD asked him to give.
  6. by   laneyRN
    Thank you for setting my mind at ease after worrying all weekend about whether or not I did the right thing.
  7. by   melestesrn
    The MD should be supervsing the person who is drawing up the drugs. It's his license if he gives something wrong. Good thing he/she did not give the drug. Then there would have been a problem.
  8. by   valifay
    In an emergency, anyone available needs to pitch in. If your tech was under the direction of ana. and didn't give the meds, then there should be nothing to worry about.
  9. by   H3llo Nurse
    omg, i hate the thought of anesthesia!! why did the patient crash?
  10. by   GadgetRN71
    Quote from H3llo Nurse
    omg, i hate the thought of anesthesia!! why did the patient crash?
    Patients crash in the OR for any number of reasons, losing lots of blood and fluids, previous heart conditions etc. The anesthesiologist usually takes over when there is a code in the OR...not sure what you meant by hating the thought of anesthesia? I doubt the anesthesia person in the OP caused the code...many of our patients are not the healthiest of specimens to start with..

    Me personally, I'm ecstatic when we have a great anesthesiologist working with us...they truly can make the difference between life and death..so many people focus on the surgeon when they are about to have surgery when they really should be wondering how competent their anesthesia provider is.. I have a list of people who I will allow to put me under(talking about elective stuff-in an emergency, you don't have a choice, LOL).
  11. by   KayceeCA
    Quote from WitchyRN
    Me personally, I'm ecstatic when we have a great anesthesiologist working with us...they truly can make the difference between life and death..so many people focus on the surgeon when they are about to have surgery when they really should be wondering how competent their anesthesia provider is..
    Amen! Most people have no idea how much difference a good anesthesiologist can make, especially when things go wrong.
  12. by   shodobe
    I have a real problem with a tech drawing up any drugs even at the direction of anesthesia because they are not a licensed person. I know some places "allow" their techs to draw up some drugs for on field use such as Lidocaine, marcaine or? Where I work we as nurses give the techs what they need and just verify the drug to them. It doesn't really matter if the tech is working under an MDs license, because this isn't really true just like MAs working in MDs offices aren't working under their license. Our techs, in this situation, can only do one thing and that is compressions. Don't all hospitals have code teams or are they just for larger hospitals? If this is the case then you should have plenty of people that can legally give drugs and draw them up. I see no reason at all for this tech to draw up anything. The anesthesiologist should know better.
  13. by   GadgetRN71
    When I worked in a smaller community hospital OR as a tech..We did not have the code team show up to our codes and we did not have an OR code team either. One night, we had a cysto pt code on the table, there were 5 of us there(evening shift) in the whole OR...I ended up documenting despite the fact that technically, that needed to be a licensed person. One of the RN's did sit down with me later and she signed the document after looking it over.

    The guy lived too, which was pretty cool. When I told my classmates and instructor about it the next day(I was in NS) they asked why didn't the hospital code team show up? We've had a couple of codes in the OR I'm in now, and same thing, we're on our own when it comes to codes. If you're lucky, it's not too late in the day and people will come to your room to help.

    I do agree that in an ideal situation, the tech should not be drawing up meds or documenting for that matter, but sometimes, we work with what we have.
  14. by   shodobe
    That is true, but you still need to look out for yourself and not assume anything. It takes along time and effort to obtain your lisence but only takes a minute to put it into jeopardy. This whole subject reflects back on legalities and not really what you have to work with. Practice safe and wise!

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