Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I know what I know

I really haven't been on the internets in over a week, except for quick scans of my email. I did, however, pass PALS (pediatric advanced life support). I think it's the 3rd time I've taken it and it seems to get easier and easier, which is not a good thing. In fact, I think there was too much of the fancy videos and not enough content. I didn't have a problem, but I felt sorry for the people who were taking it for the 1st time, including one respiratory therapist I know who I thought was going to have a breakdown when they gave her the "baby in asystole" megacode. There's no real end to that code, except to call it, but who wants to have a dead baby. It's broken tougher participants than her, to be sure.

So in addition to realizing that I know more about PALS than I thought I did, I also learned in the past week:

I know what to do when someone faints, or almost faints, or is just having a culturally diverse grieving response. Help them to the ground(extra points for avoiding back strain) or a chair. She was up and about before I could bring back water and a cool washcloth. Code purple avoided. (Code Purple is medical jargon for, "help, someone received bad news and fell out!")

I learned how to use the peritoneal dialysis cycler. Than I became the point person for the rest of the floor, because, really, when do we ever use that? On someone who weighs 6 kilos, no less? 4 more kilos and he'll be ready for transplant! Go, little baby, go!

I went to conference on nursing research and learned that if I ever want to get a PhD, I can kiss my family goodbye for 4-6 years. Sigh.

I learned that I have completely fallen in love with a little imp who is probably going to die within the next year. I can't help it...she wormed her way into my heart and that's where she'll stay.

I know (from years in the ER) that when you smell diesel coming through the vent system it's because someone hasn't turned off their truck(or ambulance), which is highly annoying for staff and possibly dangerous for your respiratory patients.

I know that sometimes when people appear unresponsive it's because they don't speak English, are hard of hearing, are just plain scared or all three. Maybe you should check on that before you write them off.

And finally, that like being a Catholic or riding a bike, nursing is something that you never forget, no matter how much time you've been away from the bedside.

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