Being prepared

  1. I am a student and witnessed my first code the other night. I felt completely helpless. Things happened so quickly, I felt inadequate and wasn't really sure as to what my role was during this situation. Is there any suggestions on how to be better prepared when I am involved in another?
  2. Visit twinduff profile page

    About twinduff

    Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 3


  3. by   ReWritten
    I have almost 8 months of experience. My very first code ever was my own patient, and I know exactly how you felt! When you're not ACLS certified, the only thing you'd be asked to do is compressions or being the recorder. What prepared me/gave me more confidence in the situation was getting ACLS certified. (It's a requirement on my floor). If you're in that situation again, it is best to just observe and learn. Maybe obtain the patient's chart for the nurse in case questions are asked.
  4. by   GM2RN
    Students often only observe. Sometimes they are allowed to participate with chest compressions and other things. There's so much going on during a code that you probably won't really feel prepared until you have participated in few, even after you have taken ACLS.
  5. by   Nurse Mentor Nancy
    Talk to your instructor and find out what the expectations are of you as a student. In your current role, you may be limited to what you can legally do.If you cannot take an active part in the codes and want to feel less helpless, can you assist in any way either during or after the code. You can also analyze this situation and learn from it. What were the warning signs, if any, prior to the respiratory or cardiac emergency? What meds were used and why? Work to understand everything that was done during the code. What changes in the patient's nursing care plan needed to be made after the code?

    Hope this helps you become the Best Nurse You Can Become! Kuddos to you for asking for more information.
  6. by   systoly
    As mentioned above, observation is your primary duty. Some things you can do, however, may be things like lowering bed rails, moving furniture to make room, etc. Be sure and discuss this with your instructor first. If you get a chance to do chest compressions, take it and watch the monitor while compressing. Be aware that the outcome is not going to be good irrelevant of your technique.
  7. by   RNperdiem
    Sometimes when things are slow, I play the "what if" game to stay prepared and mentally sharp.
    What would I do if my patient went into respiratory distress? What if the chest tube gets pulled out?
    Mentally imagine yourself handling common emergencies and check hospital policy as to what the correct sequence is.
  8. by   B3li3v3~n~nur5ing
    Def. check out what your school says, as a student in my school we are only to observe IF there is room.
  9. by   neuroms
    Agree with all the above, observe. As I'm sure you noticed, a small army of well trained staff work the code, just pay attention. No one is going to come up to you, being a student, and say "well you were completely useless for that code." They already know and expect it.
  10. by   NnSweets
    I was told not to take ACLS because as a new grad you might find yourself held to a higher standard that you are not fully prepared for...
    Other advice I have heard is to try to be the person that takes notes (I'm not sure what they call that person) But in a code as a new nurse this is the best way to get experience for a code. Good luck.
  11. by   K+MgSO4
    I do not let a new grad or student be the scribe on a code or a Medical Emergency. they are not familiar enough with meds and procedures that may be happing simultaneously to document it as well as the vitals. I don't expect a new grad to know everything. just the basics getting furniture out of the way and getting the crash monitor on is plenty.

    A student I expect even less from. my first code as a student was mostly spent under a sterile drape holding a pt neck in CCU as they inserted external pacing wires while he was semi alert! Stand and observe and if you are asked to fetch something and you don't know where it is or what it is ASK! we need it now. I can send someone who does know where it is.