life as a nurse-C

CODES, COMPLAINTS, COMMUNICATION

As a former medsurg and icu nurse, I’ve been thru codes. codes are when a patient is not doing very well and you call for hospital assistance. codes range from anything as a code blue, code pink, code red, code brown (lol, nurse humor) to even a rapid response. it is the code blues that are the most serious and most scary. just image you are a nurse. you walk into the patient room to give medications. they aren’t breathing, no pulse. you hit the code blue button. people start rushing in while you put the bed down, open up the iv wide and start compressions. the code blue team arrives. the crash cart arrives. doctors, lab, and xray technicians arrive. the room goes to have two people in it to over 20. people are barking orders, screaming, yelling. to an outsider it looks chaotic. some are chaotic. but it’s a dance that we all have practiced a million times. we all know our places, we all come together for one thing… the patient. the rushing around, the yelling it’s how we communicate to each other. we are using each other’s skills to help each other save this patient. they are intense. some go on for minutes, some just seconds. some times it’s a gift of the breath you hear of the patient others it’s tears from outside the room while we have to tell the family there is nothing else we can do. it’s a hard job. it’s not all sunshine, good hours and no holidays. you have to make difficult decisions. you have to communicate.

communication as a nurse is our first tool. it is how we greet our patients for the first time. it is how we explain to them their new medication or how we help them grieve their loved one. we communicate to our staff members when we need help. communication is such a strong aspect of nursing that you take multiple classes in college as well as when you have the job. it is a constant topic in meetings of how we can communicate better with our patients to improve patient scores. some nurses suck at it, others are gifted and go on to teach. others are who the patients talk to during complaints. 

which brings me to complaints.  no I’m not talking to complaints A patient makes against a nurse or doctors. but that is a good point because we do get a lot of those. I’m talking about the main complaint that you have to bring you to someone in the medical field. either it be a hospital or doctor office. a patient has a complaint or concern that they want to bring to light. some times they are small.. ear pain, sore throat. other times huge GI bleeds, chest pain. no matter what it is, as nurse you serve your patient. yes, you do encounter some complaints that aren’t really complaints. for example a patient mother was concerned about the placement of a birthmark on the child. worried about if we could get removed due to her reading something on the internet about the health concerns of where it was located. word to the wise… wedmd, Google, etc are not doctors. do not take some stupid little questionnaire online. it will tell you 10 different diagnosis that could range from a rash, appendicitis to cancer. even though this happens multiple times in my profession, communication comes to play. see what I did there ???!?!? lol what I mean to say you want to communication to your patient that their complaint is significant. you are the person that they need to talk to. you want to get all the information you can so that you can help them get the answers they need.no matter how small, large or even webmd related it’s significant.

ive learned a lot of things being a nurse. I’ve learned that you have to take the good and the bad during a code.  you need to learn how to communicate so when talking to your patients about their complaints they trust in you. nursing is a gift. one I’m forever grateful for. 

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