Never a dull moment

Being an emergency room nurse means suspense, sadness, teamwork, drama, trauma, chaos, recovery and miracles. It also means split second decisions, staying calm under pressure and caring for patients who depend on your knowledge and skills to get them through some of the worse moments in their lives.

The emergency room is a well-orchestrated place, sometimes looking like coordinated chaos.

“It’s like a dance with a lot of adrenalin. Everyone has their steps they must do to make it all work.

One night, a man came in the door who was very sick.

“I just had this feeling about him, and I knew I needed to stay at his bedside with him,” she says. “As I was talking to him, right way we got an IV in him and gave him antibiotics.”

The nurses and doctors triage patients very quickly, looking to see if there is some form of infection. They get blood drawn and get chest X-rays. Even a cardiologist had been asking this man some questions.

The patient, who was dealing with cancer, had been going through chemotherapy started to code.

“All of a sudden, he just stopped talking,” . “I’m with three other nurses and the doctors, and they are all working on this patient. We already know what each other needs to do in these situations.”

They get out the paddles and shock him.

“One shock put his heart back into normal rhythm. He woke up instantly, and said, ‘What happened.’ “All of this happened within a two to five minute period, and then it was done. This person did very well. It could have worked out much worse.”

The teamwork in the emergency department is a big part of what keeps me there.

“We work together. We get through these situations. Not every situation has a good ending, but we sure try,” she says.

“There is a constant turnover of patients. We are transporting patients upstairs all the time once we take care of them here. The days go by fast. There are times we crave for boredom.

BY:  Jamie Hendrickson


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