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Nurse Suzy-Q to the Rescue

Nurses Nursing Article   posted

Specializes in Hospice, LTC.

Average day with an average med pass, right? It’s the weekend, no head honcho’s insight, and I’m a new nurse eager to do a great job. Still not comfortable in my own skin, but starting to get in a “routine“. Heck, it was Sunday and nothing could go wrong, right? NOT.

Nurse Suzy-Q to the Rescue
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Here I am moseying down the hall taking care of business. VS before dig, crush so and so's meds, not the Dilantin capsule though, put it in a bit of applesauce. Flush the peg. "Med pass for you." "Open wide, here you go." "Now swallow." "Big drink." "Swallow", "good job". "Accu check time," wipe with alcohol. "Just a small stick." Blood sugar 270, sliding scale. There we go, time for breakfast. Everything was smooth. A-okay, right?

All of a sudden I hear the fire alarms go off. My heart jumps out of my throat, flops on the floor and stops... What do I do, I am frozen in a panic. I can't move. What did they say in school? What was I trained to do in this situation?

RACE... Remove, Activate, Close doors, Extinguish. Remove, Activate, Close doors, Extinguish.

PASS.... Pull, Aim, squeeze, sweep.... Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep.

In a sudden burst of pure 100% adrenaline, I slam my med cart shut, lock it and make a beeline for the fire alarm control panel. I am running full speed ahead. I notice the area that is blinking and make my way there, hollering back at the aides to check every room and shut the door after they do so. I don't smell any smoke, I don't see any smoke, but what the heck is going on? I decide to be prepared, that's what school taught me right. I grab the fire extinguisher and continue on my path. I'm chanting over and over in my head.

RACE... Remove, Activate, Close doors, Extinguish. Remove, Activate, Close doors, Extinguish.

PASS.... Pull, Aim, squeeze, sweep. PASS... Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep.

What am I forgetting? I know I'm forgetting something. I'm racing up and down the halls, looking in rooms, closets, bathrooms. Nothing. I see Nellie calmly leaned against the wall and instruct her to go to her room. She shakes her head no. I signal to an aide to deal with her, while I go about attempting to save the nursing home and all of my residents. Nurse Suzy-Q to the Rescue.

RACE... Remove, Activate, Close doors, Extinguish. Remove, Activate, Close doors, Extinguish.

PASS.... Pull, Aim, squeeze, sweep. Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep.

This continues for several minutes, the tension in the air thick enough to choke. Everyone getting a little nervous and upset. Me, I haven't found the fire, my residents are at risk, do I evacuate? That's when I hear the sounds. The fire department sirens. I run outside to meet them, extinguisher in hand. "Sir, I can't find the fire. I can't find it...." his reply, "We've got it." I watch them sweep into the nursing facility and make their way to the fire control panel... They are pointing and then turn to look at me and grin. "Ma'am, it looks like you've got a real big problem... Maybe an arsonist...." My heart falls, plummeting to the ground, if I take a step, surely I will be walking on it... They see the look on my face, as they head down the nursing hall. Why can't they move any faster? Am I gonna have to do this myself?

I follow close behind and see them pointing to my little Nellie. Sweet ol' Nellie, right? NOT. She won't budge from her spot against the wall. The fireman asks her to step aside. She yells, " I ain't a-goin' no where til you get this noise outta my ears." The firemen try to move her to the side and she covers them with a stream of spit. Finally, the fireman reaches behind her and runs his hand down the wall behind her back. I see him messing with something when suddenly all is quiet. My ears are literally humming from all of the rackets of the siren... He looks over at me and says, "Seems someone pulled the fire alarm, ma'am." We both glare at Nellie who says, "It's hot in here."

RACE... Remove, Activate, Close doors, Extinguish. Remove, Activate, Close doors, Extinguish.

PASS.... Pull, Aim, squeeze, sweep. Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep.

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NurseAlwaysNForever

Specializes in Hospice, LTC.

reading over this I realize I must have been a bit excited in writing it as I put here instead of hear and too instead of to... OOPS. LOL

I often get carried away and just type as I am thinking.

when i was working in a nursing home, on the memory unit we had a guy famous for pulling fire alarms. he'd even get to bragging about it, saying "people ask me what i do for a living... i pull fire alarms!". then he'd show how he'd pull an alarm with his right hand (couldn't move his left).

interestingly, this guy was a ceo in his day. also one of the nicest people you'd ever meet, not a mean bone in his body. he just got a thrill from seeing the firemen come out.

GoldenFire5

Specializes in ICU.

Ah ha ha ha ha !

Good story. :)

MaritesaRN

Specializes in psychiatric, UR analyst, fraud, DME,MedB.

A good one. .....I tell you these nursing homes can pack a lot of surprising giggles and a good Ha, Ha. good story . thank you much !

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

great story!

sharpeimom

Specializes in ortho, hospice volunteer, psych,.

:roll:roll:roll

Tok me back to my working in a LTC days! Never a dull shift because we had an alarm puller too...:paw::paw:

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