Getting the snot beat out of me… I don’t know if the guy who gave me this as a prize was commenting on my masculinity (or lack thereof…) or that maybe, he instinctively knew I was a nurse and knew the true roots of “Girl Power!” My second thought was, “Is it that obvious I work with all women?” He must have been a psychic as well as a carnie.
The coolest thing though happened to me at work this morning. I always feel weird around those who I’ve performed CPR on – those that have survived. So imagine my surprise the other night when our Code from the Night of Many Codes came back to the floor. As committed team member I went in with another nurse to get a patient cleaned up for the day. It was a bit odd, as laying here was a patient who last time I had seen them was quite nearly dead, if not truly dead. That night his pressures had been dropping all night and just didn’t look good. Respiratory status diminishing, really working hard. I pop in to see if the the nurse needs anything and end up finding the blood pressure as 60 palp. Things progress to a full blown Code. Luckily, being a fresh post-op heart, the wires were still in place. But until we got them hooked up to the temporary pacer, we had to do CPR. On a fresh heart. At least we didn’t have to worry about breaking ribs. The strange thing was the supple compliance of the sternum being held together by surgical steel wires. CPR was downright easy on this patient.
Now imagine my surprise when they’re pretty much neurologically intact, granted they stayed a month in the Unit and their kidneys went to hell, but they’re alive and talking to us. As we go about the tasks of turning, moving, sliding, rearranging linens, getting a new sling positioned (did I mention they can’t help much with care..) He says, “Hey,watch out for my chest!” pointing at their sternum. “It still hurts, had a lot of trauma to it.”
The other nurse looked over at me and we both grinned and chuckled. He continued, “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing,” I say, “We know you’ve had some trauma there. And let me just say I’m sorry about that.”
I didn’t fill him in on the fact I had been pumping on his chest 3 weeks ago or anything like that. Just took the opportunity to say sorry!