How was your first code blue? What role did you have?

  1. The first code blue I ever participated in was at my first nursing job, while I was still in orientation. The patient was not mine. It was an older woman with breast implants. The nurses in the room were mocking the patient bc of her breast implants and old age, and I felt strange, at the lack of seriousness, in this very serious setting. I had participated in many other code rescues before but the code blue was scary. I awkwardly stood back while the experienced nurses did their thing, and then one of the charge nurses told me to do compressions on the patient while the other nurse rested. I was so caught up with the adrenaline and making sure to give good compressions that I failed to notice I had cut my wrist with a bracelet I was wearing from how hard the pressure was during the compressions!!! Luckily, I had gloves. Whew!

    The patient did not make it.

    After the code, my preceptor and I got back to business.. Well at least my preceptor did, and all that time, I was just thinking to myself, "wow, I just gave compressions to a dead person, and they didn't make it"... I felt pretty sad the rest of the shift. This was the first dead patient I had seen It took me a couple days to get over it, but I felt overwhelmed by the whole thing...

    What about you guys.. What was your first code blue like?
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    Joined: Nov '15; Posts: 12; Likes: 8

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  3. by   Dranger
    To be fair there is always some element of gallows/black humor within a hospital setting but opening mocking a patient isn't very professional.

    i adapted rather quickly after my first code, I think I went to lunch and had some cold pizza. Everyone reacts differently but I became hardened and or de-sensitized rather fast.

    Next time don't wear a bracelet.
  4. by   Farawyn
    Went in to a room at first rounds that night. A new admit had just come up before COS and orders were still being written/processed. Dx: Bronchitis, 50 something.
    Hi, I'm your nurse, Far, blah de blah...
    While doing vitals he tells me "I just don't feel right."
    Nooooooooooooooooo!
    No pain, respirations unlabored, VSS, color gray, I put his O2 on, left the room to get the AccuCheck since he was a diabetic and called the Resident on call while I was out there. We had voice pagers back then so she called me back right away. Told her the VS, no pain, but "he doesn't look right" she will be right up. I was out of the room for 5 minutes, not even.
    Head back into the room and he is OUT, down for the count.
    I grab the phone next to the bed and call a code, yell for the crash cart, get the bed up. They get the board under him, I jumped on him and start doing compression, cracking his ribs...
    Code team comes up, and I end up on the crash cart.
    He made it, enough to be put on a vent and have his family come up and say goodbye. He coded again and died at 0500.
    Found out later he had extensive history of lupus, sarcoidosis, heart disease, etc. NEVER should have come to a med surg floor. The worst part for me was seeing an essentially dead body on a vent. His death didn't scare me at all, but the vent was brutal.
    This was 2 months off orientation.
  5. by   Lev <3
    My first code was while I was in nursing school and worked on a telemetry unit. It was an elderly patients (in his 80s) who was admitted for syncope and had a "bathroom code" i.e. vasovagaled while trying to have a BM. I wasn't actually involved in the code, as I was a fairly new employee at the time. I remember walking the wife (who was younger than him, maybe early 70s) down the hall as she was crying and getting her some water.
  6. by   lavenderskies
    Quote from Farawyn
    <snip>The worst part for me was seeing an essentially dead body on a vent. His death didn't scare me at all, but the vent was brutal.
    This was 2 months off orientation.
    I had a brain dead teenager on a vent awaiting the transplant retrieval team to arrive when I was a student nurse doing an ICU rotation. Family had come and gone before I came on. It was a gut wrenching experience for me. He lay with his new red hightop sneakers, skin all pink and "alive" when in reality he was not. I changed out IVF bags every hr as he was diuresing like crazy. It was surreal.


    An luckily for me....the only patients I've had that coded were adult dnr or neonates that needed only bag and mask to resusitate. Knock on wood.
  7. by   Coldsvt
    My very first day in the ED the charge Nurse was showing me a few things around the floor and the trauma alert went off. She goes " gown up rookie time to earn your pay check!!" Lol

    Lady came in talking but in severe pain and going down hill fast. Then her BP bottomed out and then she coded. Im pretty sure i broke every one of her ribs after about 3 mins we got a rythm. Once we got her stable (we thought lol) we got her labs back ph 6.88, k+ 7.0, cant remember her hgb but was LOW LOW. Then we found the exact problem...she was bleeding out from a necrotic bowl and was septic

    She went to OR with he belmont in tow, and she made it. She spent a looong time in icu but she lived
  8. by   CountryMomma
    My first code was chaotic. Well, in my perspective it was, but really I'm sure it was just fine. Pt was planning to discharge that afternoon, had just completed their education with their nurse. I walked by and saw her waving me down. Pt was pale and tachypneic. They just kinda slid into a limp mess in their bed. I called it on the overhead while running to get the cart, and when I got back I took over bagging until RT arrived.

    I'm still a shaky hot mess in a code, but the adrenaline - cued nausea's gone away!
  9. by   TheCommuter
    My first code occurred at a nursing home in 2006. I was a nurse for only a few months. My performance was so ineffective that another nurse with more experience told me in a sarcastic tone, "You have to do something."

    The patient survived, which is unusual for codes that take place at nursing homes. In my experience, the majority of them don't make it.
  10. by   ICUman
    My 1st was in the middle of the night in the ICU. We were doing massive transfusion protocol on this guy and there was blood everywhere so everyone wore the yellow contact precaution gowns to spare themselves (which made us pore sweat). The CPR relief line was very limited, and the patients nurse grabbed my shoulders, and pushed me right up against the patient and said "we need you, start compressing NOW", and ta-da, I learned CPR.

    I think codes are so cool. I crave them every shift. I'm an evil person. I love critical care and am so fascinated by all the code drugs, protocols, drips, shockable rhythms, etc. I have even got to push epinephrine amps during codes as a nursing student which was surreal. I wish I could have a code every shift. I need some sort of counseling to bring me back to a normal human being.
  11. by   Farawyn
    Quote from ICUman
    My 1st was in the middle of the night in the ICU. We were doing massive transfusion protocol on this guy and there was blood everywhere so everyone wore the yellow contact precaution gowns to spare themselves (which made us pore sweat). The CPR relief line was very limited, and the patients nurse grabbed my shoulders, and pushed me right up against the patient and said "we need you, start compressing NOW", and ta-da, I learned CPR.

    I think codes are so cool. I crave them every shift. I'm an evil person. I love critical care and am so fascinated by all the code drugs, protocols, drips, shockable rhythms, etc. I have even got to push epinephrine amps during codes as a nursing student which was surreal. I wish I could have a code every shift. I need some sort of counseling to bring me back to a normal human being.
    Well, they say awareness if the first step...
  12. by   emmy27
    I was a tech on a med-surg floor and had only been there a few days. One of the nurses who knew I was a nursing student pulled me in the room to watch- I didn't actually participate in the code. It didn't last all that long and the patient didn't make it.

    When it was all over, the patient in the room across the hall (this was an older hospital with small rooms and narrow halls, so they were very able to tell what was going on) called me in and chewed me out because they had wanted their soup reheated during the code and they'd told the secretary but nobody had come.

    Retrospectively, it was a pretty realistic introduction to "non-TV codes" overall.

    The first code I ever actually participated in was the same floor a few weeks later, doing compressions on a very elderly lady. I was surprised by how horrible doing compressions on real fragile ribs felt, and she didn't make it either.

    Adult codes don't usually affect me strongly anymore (although seeing the families tears me up), but pedi codes still gut me and I think they always will.
  13. by   SwansonRN
    I honestly don't remember the circumstances of the patient. I remember some details, but I was so green I don't think I understood the big picture (new grad in ICU orientation).

    I remember my preceptor was ready to go to lunch and I was just finishing a few things up. A patient's family member asked me what something on the monitor meant and as I was explaining it I noticed the patient flipped into a ventricular rhythm. My preceptor was like, "ok ready? Let's go eat" I said "I'm not so sure" and then: v fib arrest.

    I laugh about it now because my first instinct was to walk out of the room (guess I'm a flighter!). I thought "ok, it's the adults turn, I've already messed this up". Someone saw me walking out and they called me in and put me on compressions duty. This is the first and last time I've done compressions in my career! Not my role!
  14. by   808dreams
    Great topic!!

    My first code was back in nursing school, I worked as a nursing assistant and I got to watch a man in his 80s being coded. He did not make it. What was memorable to me was the fact that he literally projectile vomited and projectile diarrheaed black stuff everywhere during the code. So it was a short code and it was obvious he was dead very soon. I'll never forget it. As I recall, it was one of those cases where the family was fighting against making the poor guy a DNR....

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