An Ordinary Day

It was a beautiful October day; birds were singing, leaves turning ever so gracefully to the wonderful colors of fall. The crispness of the day fell upon my face as I admired the beauty of the season. Looking to the sky I wondered, as I was entrapped by the fullness of the blue, what could make a more perfect day! Chilled, I ran quickly to the entrance of the building. Nurses General Nursing Article


An Ordinary Day

The entrance seemed dull with the light from the building, "and they call this good light," I thought to myself as I looked back once more at the glistening of the sun on the dew-filled grass. Must hurry, can't be late.

Morning report was fast for me. Covering the ER made my work assignment not as heavy as it could've been, even possibly extra minutes to sneak outside the ER door for a few more moments of the beauty that would soon fall into noon.

The day moved slowly along with only a few calls to the dreaded ER. They can work a "sista" to death, if you know what I mean. Anyway, the hopes of a slow day, at least in the ER remained, and if so, I would finish on time and be able to enjoy the evening sun.

Beep, beep, beep, not the long beep! Please, not the long beep, not today it's too beautiful today. I rushed to the stairs as they called Respiratory stat to the ER. The code room was open, and Dr. Thong asked me to get another therapist and gather extra equipment, and a ventilator, the standby for our patient would be 8 minutes.

Through the doors he came, covered with emergency workers around him, their faces blank and fearful. The smell of autumn followed, with leaves and debris covering their clothing. He's been down for 10 minutes someone yells. I then saw his face for the first time; he was young, maybe 25 I thought. What could have happened?

His face, ears, and scalp were a deep purple, no wounds, no blood to be seen. The report began, 26 year old gentleman digging a ditch at a construction site, trapped by a backhoe that slipped from its port.

The race began; Dr. Thong said, "let's move people."

The endotracheal tube slid down his throat with no resistance. With each press of the Ambu Resuscitator bag his chest rose. Blood flowed from the central line placed in his groin. The hue as I remembered resembled weak coffee. And with each thrust of the chest compressions, his chest gave in like dough being kneaded for bread. The drugs being pushed gave no indication they were on board, not one frazzle was noted on the heart monitor. After 20 minutes the room became crowded as the operating room staff arrived from the called made to them. The equipment they brought took up space throughout each corner as they prepared for the thoracic surgery plan. As they took their place at the bedside my mind floated to what would be as I was given the heavy blue gown to put over my scrubs.

The first pass of the scalpel opened his chest as if it were a zipper. I could not believe how easy it was to distinguish fatty tissue from muscle. The yellow hue sat there in small clumps as if it were popcorn kernels. Just as fast as the yellow and pink tissue was parted, blood would fill the cavity as if a race were being run. More equipment was pulled from the cart and then the smell of burning flesh filled the air, as well as the sound of the saw as it opened his chest for us.

The view of the pulseless pink and blue organ didn't last long. Hands began their job, massage, massage and more massaging as if this would bring life back into it. "I need another set of hands," yelled the surgeon through all the chatter in the room, and at that very moment without any thought of what was happening; I reached out with my hands and began my first open heart massage.

We did not save his life that October day, but the beauty of nature and man became as one for me. It became an ordinary day in my journey as a RT/RN...........

1 Article   1 Post

Share this post

Share on other sites


24 Posts

great story


408 Posts

Thanks for sharing. Must've been nerve racking! A little sad though.

So, how many open heart massages, have you done since then?

Maybe, a rough estimate?

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X