MICU nurse becomes Trauma Pt.

  1. Recently I was traveling in Florida with my family to Disney World and a cement truck traveling in the opposite direction, on I 10, had a catastrophic blow out of a front steer tire. He started flipping and went through the median and hit us head on. The impact threw our car 88ft and we landed in a drainage ditch pointing the opposite direction we were traveling.

    To make a long story shorter, I had to be extricated with jaws of life, I went in to shock and while paramedics were medicating me for pain. I had an anaphylactic reaction to Fentanyl and lost my airway.I was airlifted to a trauma center and my kids were taken to ALABAMA to another trauma center because we overloaded the Panama City hospital with our wreck. I didn't know how my kids were doing for over 8 hours.

    The worst part was hearing the screams from my kids asking them not to let their mommy die. I am an RN in the MICU and I it was so hard knowing everything going on and having absolutely no control. I was the one that gave paramedics report when they arrived on scene and I told them when I was loosing my airway.

    Once I lost consciousness and they cut my clothes off and stuck things in every orifice I had, I became scared and realized I was no longer a nurse, I was a patient. I am used to doing this to my patients and I have never stopped to think how I make them feel. I rarely ever was told what was going on or that they were getting ready to do a procedure to me. I just wonder if any of you have experienced being a trauma patient and how did it make you feel.

    This experience has taught me to ALWAYS, whether they are conscious or not, tell my patient what I'm doing. They may not understand but when you are having a rectal probe used on you and they just flop you over and use it..WARN ME that its coming! I never knew how much Lovenox burns when going in, I never realized how hard it is to "cough and deep breathe" with broken ribs, or how it feels to ambulate with a broken foot and busted knees. Also, DVT's HURT like heck! Yeah, I got one.

    Needless to say I have learned so much from being a patient and if I can help one nurse realize that patients are scared and just to have a friendly voice or a hand to hold, MAKES a HUGE difference. Once I have recovered and get back on the unit my patient care will be quite different and I think my patients will be better for it.
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    About L&DWannaB

    Joined: Oct '09; Posts: 48; Likes: 50
    RN MICU; from US
    Specialty: ICU-Adult Medical


  3. by   sapphire18
    So glad you're ok...that sounds terrifying.

    I have been at patient several times myself, and it opens up your eyes to what your patients are going through, without a doubt.

    Thank you for sharing your story.
  4. by   Esme12
    I am so glad you are better.......it will make you a better nurse. It is the small stuff that counts. My prayers for your continued recovery.....
    Wow, I'm just happy you're ok.
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    Glad you survived and are planning a return to the bedside. I survived an "Unable to Intubate" scenerio during elective Lap Choley several years ago remembering clearly 9 attempts over 45 minutes to intubate me. ... then developed SBO rescheduled procedure post op. The hospital involved received a nice 4 page letter regarding anesthesia personnel failure to follow ASA difficult airway recommendations along with one RN who told me they didn't need to check my airway/breathing as monitoring me via Telemetry.

    These patient care personnel experiences almost always lead us to improving our care for others. Thanks for sharing your story. Your patients will be blessed to have you caring for them!
  7. by   rnwiz
    Wow. Thank you for sharing your story and glad you have made it. I thought about how my pt's must feel many times... but reading your story just made it more vivid in my mind. Thanks again -another ICU nurse
  8. by   mybanez
    Thank you for sharing your story. It is sometimes rather difficult to put yourself in the patient's shows when you haven't experienced what they're going through firsthand.
  9. by   xoemmylouox
    Excellent reminder for all of us. I hope you continue with a great recovery. Best of luck.
  10. by   SNB1014
    I just wonder if any of you have experienced being a trauma patient and how did it make you feel.

    trauma, no. but i was born with VATER syndrome (may be called "association now, but yeah) and have had over 40 surgeries. many of them, luckily, i was too little to remember, but i can vividly remember a major one in 6th grade. i had a urinary diversion placed in the summer and in the fall i went for a check up. i thought it was just the dr office. nope, i had to go under. i was ****** and terrified. it was supposed to be outpatient.
    well, long story short, in the cystoscopy my surgeon punctured my intestine. aka, poop and bacteria ALL OVER my insides. but he didnt know that.
    i woke up from surgery and my heart hurt. really hurt. the nurse figured it out and long story short, i had peritonitis, sepsis and got my last rites read.

    that was many years ago. wana know the worst part? i had the resident come and take out drains one day. he didnt effing deflate he balloon! he just ripped them out of my skin.

    it was the first time i cursed. and i apparently took to it like a sailor ;-)

    as an rn, whenever i take out drains or "tubes" in general...DEFLATE the balloon. hooooooly moly does it hurt otherwise!
  11. by   anon456
    Thanks for providing that perspective! How terrifying for you, and how eye-opening. I trust your kids were okay . .

    I take care of many chronic total care patients, and even though they probably can't understand, I do talk to them and tell them when I'm about to turn them, change them, do oral care, etc.
  12. by   natnat122
    Thank you for sharing your story, very eye opening and I hope & pray you get well soon!
  13. by   KbmRN
    Your story gave me goosebumps. God bless you and your family.
  14. by   Nrsasrus
    Thanks for sharing your story and thanks for the interesting perspective, it's very helpful.