Codes, codes, and more codes

I'm a bad blogger. I have so much paid stuff to write I'm neglecting anything for-free-and-for-fun. Bad. Bad.

But never fear, NNR continues to wear her invisible cape and save (or at least prolong) lives through the night, three nights a week. Stunningly, nightshift is short. As it always is. We are not, however, having our asses handed to us as we were a few months ago, so it's mostly tolerable. Our resus rooms seem full more often than not, though. People who don't believe in the collective unconscious are not nurses. We've got months where we have few codes or traumas and then suddenly both rooms are full all the time. This is one of the latter times. It's one of those times where you brush your fingernails across your scrubs and say, "She left our department alive. Our work here is done now. CLEAN THE ROOM QUICK."

One of our docs summed it up well the other day: "That [pointing at resus room] is why we love what we do. These other things are just fluff." It's true. Any trauma nurse, if pressed, will admit that it's life-and-death situations that get our pulses thrumming. We hear "code blue in progress" over the radio and we fight warring impulses…if we search deep in our hearts, we halfway hope the patient can be shocked quickly into a live-saving rhythm, and we halfway hope it's something complicated that will require transport and detective work to solve. I love and hate that time in a code when the doc says "anyone have any other ideas?" and people throw out weird shit. Those H's and T's. Sometimes just running down an algorithm WORKS. I love that. "Did we do an ABG? A UDS? A fingerstick?" Simple things that save lives.

And if the life isn't saved, I think our hospital does a good job with helping families. That is so important. Our chaplains show up as if by magic, looking perfectly put together at any time of the night, and stay with the families until everything is complete. I love them. That's actually part of my job that I like---that therapeutic presence part---but I never have as much time as I want to be with the family and help them through the situation. The chaplains do ONLY that. And they rock. The mutual respect between the chaplain staff and nursing staff is palpable. I like that a lot. I feel like we are good team players. They have checked in with me months after a difficult code to see how I'm doing. That's nice. It's hard. It's nice to know people realize these things are hard on us too.

So my working life can be summed up as codes, codes, codes. I'm proud to say our community has rocking EMS teams and a rocking ER staff. We do a good job. It feels good to see people do that wordless trauma dance…it's like magic to be a part of it. I love my job.