You watch as the vital signs of your patient are dipping toward the inevitable, you have seen this before on your favorite hospital drama. The patient crashes and the doctors and nurses successfully revive this patient with the quickness of television magic. However, you know that in the real world those types of scenarios don’t always go as planned unfortunately. Not everyone has that McDreamy or McSteamy to save them from the perils of life. You have to use your own wits, judgment and the help of those around you to help your patient.
As you watch your patient’s vital signs dip into the critical area you realize that you need to jump into action! Before you do anything, stop and take a deep breath. This will help you focus and prioritize as to what is important in this very moment. Without this moment you can make mistakes that could be detrimental to the patient’s health. This moment will provide you with a sense of clarity so you can go in level headed without bringing in feelings of being overwhelmed or underprepared.
As you take that moment, look around at your coworkers. Do they seem like they are panicking or do they seem calm and collected? I would bet that the people around you have also taken that breath of clarity and are prepared to handle the task at hand. Your coworkers will look to you in this moment to provide them with the help they need to provide care to this patient. If you are not in the same head space as them this may cause miscommunication which will slow down the care that needs to be given to this patient.
As you prepare to jump into this situation you relay all the techniques you learned in your BLS class and want to execute them to near textbook perfection. You want to make sure that your BLS certification is current due to the fact that new data comes out all the time and they may have changed the technique so you want to be up to date on the latest. As you successfully pump out your chest compressions, you see that your coworkers are zigzagging in and out of the room with supplies. You must stay focused but keep your ears open for other orders from your other coworkers.
You see that the BLS that you are providing is successfully helping your patient and you continue until you are told to stop or you get too tired to continue. If you ever feel like you are getting fatigued from compressions, you need to make sure that you switch out with your fellow coworker to avoid sloppy technique. Your coworkers around you will be more than glad to switch out with you while you regain your strength. As you sit on the sidelines waiting to get tagged back in you survey your environment to be sure that all supplies that are needed are available and if not you are quick to respond when something is needed.
The patient is responding to the BLS that is being provided and you see family standing in the doorway. You can now assume another role and lead the family out into a waiting room and comfort them. The family may have questions as to what is going on and want to air out some concerns to you. You now can be that open ear to listen to them and reassure them that their family member is being taken care of by a great team who will do everything in their power to help their loved one. As you reassure the family, you are careful to use choice words that don’t seem insensitive to their situation. You have always told yourself to put yourself in the loved ones shoes and how you would like to receive information about a sick loved one.
You make your way back to the patient’s room and you see that they are now responsive and BLS has now ceased. You are sure to thank every single person who was there to assist in helping your patient. As everyone leaves the room you take the vitals of your patient and record them in their records. You comfort your patient and make sure they are okay and then you then take a deep breath and prepare to be ready for your next experience.