Code Green (mass casualty)

  1. I responded to a code green at my hospital. Code Green means mass casualty and I thought it was going to be nothing. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. Second patient in was a trauma code. I watched as a young teenager was put in a cadaver bag and rolled up to the morgue. I felt helpless. I became a nurse to help people, but some of our patients lost their lives that day. I held back tears and went back to assessing and transferring patients. Police officers were a constant presence in the ER. Then the parents came in. The look of terror in the unknown. It took another 24 hours before they found out whether their child was alive or dead . This is wrong. People are talking about guns, mental health, mistakes by governing agencies. People NEED to be focused on the 17 people who lost their lives that day. Everyone who was downstairs when ambulances started bringing in patients are still in shock. I'm not an ER nurse, but I wanted to help, needed to help in anyway I could. I hope this never happens again. I hope that another parent, friend, father, brother, etc does not have to mourn the lost life of their loved one. The one thing that I am proud of the nurses, doctors, radiology techs, etc in my hospital for responding in a cohesive way. I just pray that we find a way to keep our kids, teachers and anyone who enters a school campus safe.
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    About Neuro_ICU_Nurse

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 1; Likes: 13
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    14 Comments

  3. by   Nature_walker
    ((((HUGS)))) to you and to all the staff that were responding to this. I can't imagine what that must have been like.
  4. by   JBMmom
    Thank you to you, and your fellow staff members, for all that you did for those patients and their families on such a tragic day. While it must a have been a horrific experience for everyone, you did your best to help, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your colleagues.
  5. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Sending hugs to you. The first hospital I worked at was the hospital that received mass casualties from a school shooting when I was in college. I was working night shift and the nurses on my unit were talking with one of our supervisors and she was telling us how she was a nurse in the ER at the time. She was in tears and spoke of how one of the families helped give her some closure 10+ years after the shooting.

    I'm honestly just waiting for my current area to have some type of mass casualty event. It's a major metropolitan area and I feel between terrorists, mass transit, lone shooters, etc. it's not a matter of if, but when. It's very sad the state of the world.
  6. by   ruby_jane
    Please reach out to HR for critical incident debriefing. Another nurse on another post mentioned that what you've witnessed is a sentinel event. You did the best you could with what you had and I know everyone appreciated your willingness to make a difference.
  7. by   Buckeye.nurse
    "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."
    ~~Quote from Mr. Rogers

    Thank you for being one of the helpers. ((hugs))
  8. by   CharleeFoxtrot
    Quote from ruby_jane
    Please reach out to HR for critical incident debriefing. Another nurse on another post mentioned that what you've witnessed is a sentinel event. You did the best you could with what you had and I know everyone appreciated your willingness to make a difference.
    Yes, please do take care of yourself ((hugs))
  9. by   TruvyNurse
    Bless you. It was hell for you but you were there for the patients and their families during their hell. Go nurse and try to find peace
  10. by   NurseCard
    I am so sorry that you had to go through this. Take care of you.
    ((HUGS))
  11. by   Libby1987
    I couldn't even watch the news for a few days, I can't imagine being there. Hugs.
  12. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from Neuro_ICU_Nurse
    I responded to a code green at my hospital. Code Green means mass casualty and I thought it was going to be nothing.

    If code green means mass casualty, I don't understand why you thought it "was going to be nothing."
    Also, please be careful what you reveal here.

    I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that you helped at some level.
  13. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Horseshoe
    If code green means mass casualty, I don't understand why you thought it "was going to be nothing."
    Also, please be careful what you reveal here.

    I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that you helped at some level.
    I might have thought "nothing", too. We have occasional fire drills, accidental code blues, etc. The probability of mass casualties is pretty low and would require a few minutes to sink in as reality.
  14. by   inthecosmos
    Definitely sounds like everyone would benefit from a debriefing. I hope that in the future this happens less and you're not faced with dealing with this tragedy again.

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