Thursday, February 4, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm Sorry, Sir, I Don't Remember How To Do My Job

When you stop to think about it, it is rather interesting to consider that an emergency nurse is one of the few specialists in the medical field that rarely gets to really practice their specialty.  That is because very little of what actually comes through the doors of the emergency room really qualifies as an emergency.  So I spend most of my day pushing Dilaudid and Zofran, and very rarely do I actually perform emergency procedures.  To the point that I'm very nervous to get a true emergency - not just because somebody's life is in the balance (a good reason to be nervous) - but because I haven't set up a vigileo monitor or titrated nitroprusside or helped with a cutdown or identified a pneumothorax in a long time.  And please don't come to me with your premature baby coming out.  Yes, I have an NRP certificate, but that's all theory with plastic babies.  Hand me a real one and I may panic.

And that is why I take on each true emergency with nervous excitement.  I'm here, after all, to save a life, but after all those ankle sprains and reflux pains and migraines, I'm just a little bit rusty on my A's, B's, and C's, so give me a minute before you stop breathing completely.