First cpr experience

  1. Today I was part of my first CPR experience and I have to be honest it was horrible. I didn't do compressions as one of the nurses who had been a nurse for 20 years started by the time the emts got there I handled the ambu bag. I've only been a nurse since April. But it was brutal the CPR. The person was a full code 96 and dying of cancer. I don't know if it would be different if I knew we could save her but it just was awful please tell me the longer I'm a nurse the more confident I will get and easier it is to watch or do or something I need some hope for my future.

    ( sorry if it doesn't make sense I kinda spewed my feelings here lol)
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    About Lpn1226, LPN

    Joined: Dec '12; Posts: 8; Likes: 2
    from US

    12 Comments

  3. by   collegemomof2
    Don't worry just as with every other nursing skill.. CPR get easier with practice. For me losing a patient no matter how expectant hasn't grown any easier. Hang in there!
  4. by   Sun0408
    CPR is brutal, its hard on the 80 plus to 90 plus year old pts that are terminal but the family refuse to make a DNR. It is not what is seen on tv, and that is a huge misconception. I have felt horrible doing CPR on someone like you describe That will never get easy, doing CPR and intubating someone that has not cough, gag, corneal reflexes etc. I once had a 96 year old coded, intubated and watched her seize for 24 hours before she died again. No amount of meds stopped the seizures.

    You will learn to become more confident but on the pts you stated as well as the ones mentioned above, no it doesn't get easier. It's tough, we are not designed to live forever but many fear letting their loved ones go not matter the age or complicating DX's.

    On the flip side, I have seen some amazing things with CPR, and many have returned and walked out of the hospital. Of course they are all middle aged or younger from a trauma or resp distress that was easily repaired. I do not decide, so if they are a full code I do what I must even if I am only the recorder.
  5. by   akulahawkRN
    CPR is a brutal thing to do to someone. I've done it about 20 times over the years. Eventually you'll just get over the shock and just smoothly get to work without missing a beat, so to speak. You'll always remember this one though. Do it enough and they'll start to blur together. But you'll never forget your first.
  6. by   CheesePotato
    As others have stated, you will never forget this moment. Just as you will never forget the first code you do when you actually perform compressions and feel the ribs give beneath your hands.

    For right now, give yourself time to process it. It is very normal to feel overwhelmed and stunned. As another stated, it is nothing like what Hollywood does such dandy job of portraying.

    People forget that it is not simple, or easy, or clean.

    It is work.

    Literally. Think about it. You are acting as both of the most overworked muscles of the body: heart and diaphragm. You are forcing blood through literal miles (aprox. 60,000) of vessels and doing so through layers of muscle, fat, bone with nothing but the heels of your hands sweat, adrenaline and drive. All while keeping the same beat as the song "Stayin' Alive".

    It is back breaking, arm numbing, and taxing. And mentally, it can wear you down.

    I don't know if it necessarily gets easier so much as you learn to filter, to file and to process later. Not so much numb as, perhaps, more detached? And some days it really does feel more like, oh for pity's sake, here we go again. And some days, it takes your breath away.

    Give yourself time to process. Cry if you need to. Vent. Talk. Move forward.

    As I have said to others, my door is always open, should you need to chat.

    Kindest regards,

    ~~CP~~
  7. by   lagalanurse
    I'm an new ER nurse, but I have been a tech for almost 2 years. It has not gotten easier for me. However, today was my first successful
    Code. Pt was in vtach and then went asystole. Good CPR and a great ER team and we got her back. She was thanking us for saving her life as we rolled her up to ICU. It was worth it for that ONE successful code.
    Hang in there and just know that you did the best you could. That's all you can do.
  8. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    I would just urge you to dig in on a code, and get in on the thick of it. Anyone doing compressions could use a break just 2-3 minutes in, and will rarely say "no." You'll find your stride, and every time I code, 10 years later, I still learn something.
  9. by   akulahawkRN
    Quote from BostonTerrierLoverRN
    I would just urge you to dig in on a code, and get in on the thick of it. Anyone doing compressions could use a break just 2-3 minutes in, and will rarely say "no." You'll find your stride, and every time I code, 10 years later, I still learn something.
    Yep. If you're up to it, wade right on in and be ready to take over. Settle into the rhythm of pumping on the chest and after a bit, your mind will be free to wander. Then make sure you open your eyes and ears, and you'll start to see that codes have a rhythm to them beyond the "stayin' alive" beat you do on the chest. That's when you really get to learn stuff... No code will ever be exactly alike. The more you do, the more you learn, the better you get at it, the greater the chance (if ever so slightly) your patient will have ROSC quickly and hopefully not have any neuro deficits.

    And after every one you do, ask yourself, "could I have done anything better?"
  10. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Oh, and please KNOW the code status of your patient. If it's ambiguous at report- find out as a priority.

    Nothing makes me angrier than to respond to a Code Blue than to a DNR that the Nurse overlooked. I'm not coming up two flights of stairs to check charts-

    I'm coming to Code.
  11. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    That came across crabbier than I meant, that's just an important issue I run into too much!! Know your patient as much as possible, you'll never regret that- that's a promise!
  12. by   krsmarie
    I am still a student. My first code was a couple weeks ago. I did compressions and like the others have said its not Hollywood, the feel of the ribs giving below my hands was not what I expected. It was very hectic and I had no clue what else I should be doing or hearing. I was concentrating so hard on compressions. Thank god my patient made it!
  13. by   ianursing22
    Hi joanne12... I agree with the others, just hang in there because as you gain more practice and experience, you'll become a better and more competent nurse.
  14. by   Rhi007
    Always remember to debrief with a colleague, counsellor, trusted friend or someone who has done it before. As a volunteer I'm not obligated to call a code blue but under the Good Samaritan act I can't be sued either plus I have the training because I have to for St. John and the staff are like my family so if a doctor isn't busy they will go out of their way to debrief with me.

    I've called 4 codes and participated in 2...all 4 were mid 80's. don't ever worry whether you're pressing deep enough because a punctures lung can be fixed and broken ribs will heal but you can't bring a parent/grandparent back from past dead....

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