A little about myself, I am in an accelerated bachelors of science in nursing (ABSN) program at Concordia University. Currently I am working as a certified surgical technologist (CST) at Oregon Surgical Institute (OSI), and I am Basic Life Support (BLS) certified – having been trained for high-quality CPR – for adults, children and infants. The first time I got my CPR/BLS certification was for when I applied to the Mt. Hood Community College surgical technology program, and I have maintained it. It is important to be certified, as you do not know when you will face an emergency, therefore I have kept up my certification; I would go to the classes every two years for recertification.
The first time I experienced a code blue was when I worked as an anesthesia technician at OHSU. I thought I was ready for the code after my first CPR training class, but I realized during that code that it is a lot more hectic in real life than it is in the training. There were a lot of people, a cohesive team working together. Some were performing compressions and using an ambu bag to breathe for the patient, at the ratio of thirty compressions, and two breaths, as others were preparing the trauma suite as the patient was being rolled into the operating suite from the emergency department. As soon as there was a pulse, the patient was intubated and case had begun. As the patient had lost a lot of blood, the anesthesiologist requested blood, and there I was checking in each pint of blood with him as he was preparing to hang some, to give to the patient to replenish the losses that occurred with the hemorrhage. Even though it was very busy in the operating room, each person had a part. The class that is for CPR for healthcare providers not only teaches the providers how to perform CPR correctly, but also how to work cohesively as a team.
Working in the operating room, one never knows when the next code blue will be called. There have been cases that the code blue had to be called mid case, and even before the case had begun. Every code I have been part of, teamwork is important. As someone begins chest compressions, someone else calls the code, another person runs to get the code cart, which has the AED. There are times the person comes back, and times they do not. After each code, we would reconvene in a conference room and discuss what went well and what could have been better. Knowing CPR, one may be able to help a random stranger outside of work, a family member, as well as those who entrust their lives to the healthcare providers. It is vital to know the proper way to perform CPR because we know it saves lives.
Being halfway through the nursing program, I have learned a lot more of the importance of assessing the situation. There are times that airway, breathing, circulation (ABC) are to be done first, and there are other times that circulation, airway, breathing (CAB) is done first, it all depends if the patient is conscious or not. Even though at BLS classes I had learned that you check the scene is safe, check for pulse, and start CPR if there is none, and I understood that it is because the heart is not beating therefore it must be restarted. I now have learned that in critical care nursing you deal with both, and not only is BLS class to teach correct way to perform CPR, to work as a team, but to also assess why you are doing it, and if it is needed.
I am looking forward to being in the nursing role, and being more involved in patient care, but with that in mind, I will also need to be alert. The nurse should notice the changes in a patient, and quickly call the code when there is a need. Outside the operating room, there is not always a team approach to everything, and therefore it is important to assess the situation, and call the code in a timely manner to quickly help the patient out. Being a nurse is being the first line of defense for the patient, to listen to them, compare their vital signs and behaviors to previous assessments, and watch for critical changes. The quicker the code is initiated, and CPR is started, the more the person stands a chance to come back, as blood is circulated from the heart through the body and to the brain, therefore minimizing adverse effects.