Help me with this.

  1. Hi guys. Listen, I've got a question. What happened during your very first code? I've never been near one or a part of one yet and the prospect of it terrifies me. What if I freeze? Will I do the right things? Let me know what your experiences have been. The only thought I have is Run for the door girl!!:chuckle Don't be shy. Warrior Woman.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    When I was a student, we were all takent to witness a code with either instructor or another floor nurse describing the action. During orientation went to all codes, helped get items from drawers, ambued and later prepared drugs. AS new LPN, assigned to check crash cart daily so I got to know where things were.

    First Code do remember being asked patients history, timeline of events, etc and stuttering thru that info and bagging patinet. Later codes recall nervousness in preparing drugs till a few under my belt but fellow nurses very supportive

    Ask to attend codes while a student it really helped!
  4. by   Zee_RN
    MY first code...as an ICU nurse? Or my first, first code?

    Very first code...I was a new nurse working in long-term care. It was me or nothing so....man went out after eating dinner, while talking to his son...son came out and got the aide who got me...no pulse...initiated CPR. Had NO idea how to work the bag mask the code cart came with!! Had no 02. One of the aides ventilated and I did CPR for about 20 minutes until the ambulance got there. That's all we could do. My arms hurt for days!!! I couldn't open a jar the next day, I was so sore!

    My first med-surg code: not my patient, so I just grabbed the "code sheet" and began jotting down the record of events during the code. The code team did all the "coding." The nurse who was taking care of the patient mostly stood back and just fed information to the E.R. doctor who was running the code (such as the patient's history, admission history, medications, etc.)

    My first ICU code: I flapped around like an idiot and my fellow nurses just guided me through everything!! They pushed the meds and got another line going and hung the saline and did all the code stuff you gotta do. I was completely useless. They told me that was perfectly acceptable and to just watch. So I did and I have learned and now I can step in and be the one that knows what to do.

    It will take many codes before you're comfortable with them. My comfort level didn't come in until I was working in ICU. Working med-surg, the code team did it all and the med-surg nurses did the running, recording and providing of patient information.
  5. by   caroladybelle
    There was an infamously misogynistic, but humorous book called the "House of God", about interns. In it were listed the rules of the House of God, one of which was "In case of a code, always check your own pulse first."

    If you pause for just a few seconds, take a deep breath,clear your brain drifts away - it will all fall into place and go oh so much better!!!!!!
  6. by   Fgr8Out
    Codes.... it all depends on if it's MY patient, or the patient of another Nurse.....

    I'm always MUCH clearer headed when it's someone ELSE's patient....

    My first code... I was working LTC. The patient was brand new to the facility... so we didn't have some of the information we needed (like CODE status).... So, when I was informed my new patient was "blue"... heck.... the gal in Charge called 911.... we took the code cart in... and I did my first ever chest compressions.... ewww....CRUNCH.... :: shudders :: Thankfully, ems got there fast and took her to ER.

    I'll always remember that sensation when administering chest compressions.

    Other codes I've been present at I've either watched, moved things out of the way, reported to the doctor running the code the vital information about the patient....

    Had a visitor come out to me... I wasn't even working that floor. "Yes, ummm... I think my friend needs a nurse. We were just talking and all of a sudden he just closes his eyes and now he won't wake up." I went in, saw the guy was unresponsive, yanked the emergency call light (you know, the one NO ONE ever responds to?), dialed the hospital operator to call a code to the room and yelled out "I need HELP in here!"... started bagging the guy (yanno, ambu bags DO inflate the chest :chuckle ). Once the code team arrived, I moved to the back of the room... ended up having to run meds back and forth from outside the room (the code cart med drawer would NOT open) because the pharmacist needed a place to put HIS meds....

    All in all, it was sort of exciting.... the patient survived, despite the length of the code... and the patients NURSE (poor gal, new grad) got quite an education that day.

    Definitely adrenaline producing each and everytime... but you go into each code with experience you didn't have with the code before....

    Do the best you can... that's all anyone can do.

    Peace
  7. by   live4today
    Fortunately for me, every hospital I ever worked in had code teams, and so when a code was called, they came racing like lightening.....ZOOOOOMMMMMM....there in a nanosecond! :chuckle

    I've been blessed to either be "in training' when a code occurs, therefore am told to "stand aside and observe". Also, I have always been assigned patients who are NO CODES so when they are ready to expire from this life, I simply get to sit beside them, hold their hand, wipe their brow with a warm wet cloth, and smile. If they want a prayer said, I offer one. If they want a final hug, I give them that too. :kiss

    One time I was "strictly observing" while a nurse I was training with helped a med student assist a patient on a treadmill for his stress thalium test. This patient dropped dead after five minutes on the treadmill....they initiated CPR to no avail. Sad case.
  8. by   Jenny P
    My first code, I was an outside agency nurse with NO experience in ICU (and no med/surg experience either! I'd been in County Health Nursing for 3 years and newborn nursery before that.) and was floated into ICU. Got report, went to check on my first pt. who was doing one of those death rattles with his eyes rolled back. I tapped a passing nurse on the shoulder and pointed at him and said "He doesn't look so good." She took one look, called the code, and I got out of the way! I closed the curtains, ushered other pts'. visitors out, stayed out of the way, and observed!

    Afterwards, the nurses in the unit told me I did great?!?!!?? Needless to say, I applied there and got my start in ICU! And I'm still in ICU 29 years later.
  9. by   casperbjs
    I was working in the hospital and they called a code in E.R.
    So I had to go down and watch the procedure. Then ended up taking notes. My second code that I actually participated in, was a found by my aide, when she was passing pitchers of water. She calmly walked out to the station where we were charting, and said, I think so & so is dead. (I still can't believe she did that!) We jumped up and ran to his room and sure enough we started CPR and called the code. He didn't make it. Then I shook for minutes!!!!!
  10. by   cmggriff
    My very first Code was in my very first job in a busy ER. It occured
    durng one of those shifts from hell when every thing seems to be going wrong. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and wondering if I had made the right career choice when one of my patients died during the residents H&P exam. Suddenly I became very focused, the haze cleared and although the patient died I knew I was in the right place doing the right thing. Gary
  11. by   Fgr8Out
    Originally posted by Jenny P
    I tapped a passing nurse on the shoulder and pointed at him and said "He doesn't look so good."

    When I FIRST started on a Med-Surg Unit... there was one nurse to whom I could always go to whenever something just wasn't quite "right" with a patient.... After awhile, this Nurse would say "all I had to do was hear Lori say "Barb, could you come here a minute?" to send shivers down my spine because I KNEW it wasn't good." :chuckle

    Oh so many years later... now I"M the one in the position of being the RN the new grad comes to..."ummm Lori??? Could you take a look at this patient?" :: groan :: Ohhh noooo....

    :: shaking head and smiling ::

    Peace
  12. by   fedupnurse
    Best advice I can give after being involved in way too many to count would be to observe a couple of codes if at all possible. Also, I'd strongly suggest ACLS if you are going to be required to repsond to codes. Tell your colleagues that you are new at this and nervous. That helps alot!
    Good luck!!!!!
  13. by   moonchild20002000
    My first code occured when I was a student nurse.I was walking down the hall and the pt. in "B" bed called out to me.I think she wanted a drink. As I walked into the room the pt. in "A" bed slumped over! I did a very quick assesment,pulled the emergency call bell,started CPR. It seemed like it took forever for the nurses to come in and help me out! The pt. lived.The very next day I walked into my pts. room and what do you think happened?Another code,this one died.
  14. by   Jenny P
    Originally posted by moonchild20002000
    My first code occured when I was a student nurse.... As I walked into the room the pt. in "A" bed slumped over! I did a very quick assesment,pulled the emergency call bell,started CPR. It seemed like it took forever for the nurses to come in and help me out! The pt. lived.The very next day I walked into my pts. room and what do you think happened?Another code,this one died.
    So Moonchild, did you stop walking in pts. rooms after that???
    (Sorry, just couldn't help it)

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