Two codes in my first week of nights during orientation

Nurses New Nurse


I'm still orienting and during the first week that I switched to the night shift I had my very first rapid response and first code--in one night. The next night I had my second rapid response and second code. What a week!!! The codes were handled excellently by the staff and I was really proud of the team on my floor.

I was able to get in there, start compressions and help out as best as possible even though it may not have been much. I admit I still felt useless even though I was able to lend a hand. I wish I'd known a few things. I was told to hang up a bag of saline "wide open". I felt like the biggest moron for not realizing this meant that I should take it out of the iv pump and let it run on its own. I'd never heard of this before! Thankfully I did as I was told and asked one of the experienced nurses what that meant. Still, in a chaotic setting this just seems like a nuisance.

Anyone have any pieces of advice or any other tid bits of info that would be helpful in case I experience my 3rd code in the near future? I'm crossing my fingers that it won't happen anytime soon!

My advice would be to take ACLS...if your employer doesn't offer it, look into taking it on your own. It really helped me with my confidence during codes.

Specializes in ICU, Cardiology, Medicine, Angiography.

ACLS is helpful. Code blues are feared by alot of nurses - students and otherwise. It is a time of great chaos. In ten years in ICU, I've attended alot of them, and they sometimes turn out better than others. My biggest advice is to take a millisecond in the moment to take a deep breath, and think "I can do this". Nothing fully prepares you for being comfortable during code blues except having alot of exposure to them.

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