Rhythm looks bad

Some reactions are ridiculously underpowered for the situation at hand. To say that I had a "busy week" would be like that. It reminds me of something that happened to me at my very first job in the cardiac ICU.

My patient was in and out of stable V-tach. This is a tricky situation if you work nights, because is the patient asleep or now in UNSTABLE V-tach? I moved the crash cart into his room and put patches on him early in the shift, and I resolved to monitor him like a helicopter parent. But I had 3 other patients who were up to mischief.

I looked at him or his monitor every few minutes. It was one of those shifts where you don't eat, drink, or pee for much longer than a person should go without doing those things. On one orbit I saw the V-tach return. I ran in and the guy was asleep. I rattled him and he acted like a normal person would on being rattled awake. Whew.

But I still got an EKG machine, from the other end of the unit, hooked him up, typed in all the info, and did a 12-lead; called the really unhappy cardiologist (I had one line filled with amiodarone and one filled with dopamine, as I recall); and bolused the guy with some cardiac drugs and followed some other orders.

Which I mention because all of this took, you know, some time. Imagine my surprise when I got a page after all that was done from the monitor tech:

 Yeah it was a fun night

"Check pt: rhythm looks bad."

RHYTHM LOOKS BAD? Yeah. And I had a busy week.