Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gettin' ready for the big initiation!

Last Wednesday I woke up to get ready for work and I had a feeling. I grabbed my stethoscope and my EKG quick reference guide and stuck them in my back pack. Sure enough, when I got to the hospital I was told the ER charge nurse wanted to see me. They were short staffed and asked if I could fill in. I usually work in the urgent care area and have never really been "trained" to work in the main ER. I was nervous of course. They deal with critical patients, I usually deal with sprained ankles and lacerations. But, I'm a realistic gal and I know that it's time for me to step things up. I accepted!

They gave me four rooms to take care of. Luckily not the trauma bay or the chest pain/stroke rooms. It started out kinda slow so I was able to ease in gradually and find my way around. I think sometimes we take our regular job for granted: how easy we find things, how we just automatically know where to grab for things without actually thinking about it. Another FABULOUS part was that I had a secretary to put in all the orders for me, make phone calls, copy shit. What a load off! I also had at my fingertips a tech who did all the EKG's, hooked patients up to the monitors, and did vital signs. And volunteers who brought patients' blankets, water, food, the phone, answered questions... Wow! And to top it all off a charge nurse who had no patient's of her own, she was just there to lend a hand, a float nurse who also could lend a hand, and 5 other RN's as backup. There were Physician assistant's (PA) seeing patients and easing the doc's workload. AMAZING! All I had to do was focus on my nursing skills and assessment. (What a concept!)

I jumped in to help other nurses, I especially wanted to get my feet wet in Room 2 (the trauma room), and help with the really critical patients. How can you go wrong when you've got so much help and support around you? I helped stabilize a septic patient who ended having 7 or 8 attempts at intubation that lasted over an hour. He never coded but in my selfishness I kinda wish he had so that I could've assisted. It was sooo cool to see the teamwork of the whole ER team: nurses, techs, RT's, PA's, MD's, secretaries.... You can't save a person's life if one of these elements are missing.

So, I'm doing an actual preceptorship shift on Monday where I will follow an experienced nurse and have her teach me the ropes. (Thank you Tina!) I asked them to give me the hardest "pod" so that I may see and experience as much as I can. (Check future blogs for my complaints on how I went down in flames and how much working in the ER sucks...)

So kudos to all you ER nurses/docs/PA's/techs/secretaries/volunteers that do this everyday. I'm impressed, awed, and bow down at your feet.

1 comment:

Leah Perlingieri said...

I seriously doubt you are going to go down in flames! I personally do think you are ripe for some change...way to step up:)