One person on my floor ( Med surg) is the " code nurse" for the shift. That means if we get a code, we go down and supposedly our job is to stand back and be the messenger between what is going on in the trauma room with the family, since they have ER and ICU nurses down there who have had ACLS training.
Well I got called down to a code blue. It was someone found naked in their car, homeless, diabetic, no heartbeat. They are doing CPR as I get down there and it's an emotional shock to see someone on the brink of death. Anyways, there was no family there and it was chaos trying to get all the medications in, intubate, get an IV line in- they had to put a intraosseous line in. So everyone is getting tired, and they say " you want to take over compressions?" Umm, no! LOL but I did. I have never done CPR on a real person before. So after about 20 minutes of doing everything, the doctor is about to call time of death, pupils fixed and dilated, still no heartbeat. I am now standing at his feet and we can see aortic pulsations. So we say " do you see that?" Doc looks, listens again for a heartbeat, there is none but he has a faint femoral pulse. Ok start CPR again! Push meds- dopamine, norepi, insulin, bicarb, calcium etc! Now people have left thinking he was already dead so I am in the thick of it again. The respiratory therapist had to leave and help someone else so I was bagging for an hour- mind you I am supposed to only be the messenger! This code lasted 3 1/2 hours! Finally got a central line in, and then an arterial line. By the time we finished he had a very weak femoral pulse but he had a pulse. Due to the storms flight for life was grounded so they took him by ambulance to the larger hospital. Turns out he was acidotic from high sugars and who knows what else happened. K+ 8.4. Ph 6.5. I have no idea if he'll pull through, but man my first code was a doozy! I dont know if I want to work in the ER!