Last night a half hour before shift change we got a code--a STEMI (heart attack) that was unconscious with a poor blood pressure. It was a long, long code, during which we intermittently got a pulse back, raced to the cath lab, I donned a lead suit and helped the cath RN code the patient while three doctors tried to unclog the patient's arteries.
It was exciting, but what struck me most this morning was that while I was there, the patient wasn't the mound of flesh and humanity on the table. My patient was the thin green line on the cardiac difibrillator
monitor. I would watch the rhythm on the monitor change from a sinus(ish) tachycardia to a v-tach or v-fib, feel for a pulse and then announce, "docs, it's v-fib, charging, ready to shock, all clear?" and
then deliver the shock. I think I shocked her at least 15 times The other nurse was administering meds: code meds and the meds they use in the cath lab. I hung a few drips she was unfamiliar with, but the docs
made it clear that my job was supervising the two students doing compressions and that thin green line.