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.

11 comments:

Epijunky said...

Amen, Brother.

I'm the same way. I've been on what's primarily a transfer truck for almost five years. When I get the actual sick person -- holy cow, I need a second to take a breath.

9-ECHO-1 said...

Heck, I'm on a 9-1-1 truck in a busy system and I don't get to see REAL emergencies but in rare circustances...

Pneumothorax? I read about that once. As I remember it is sort of serious...

StorytellERdoc said...

Braden! Funny, and honest. I think no matter our level, it is actually good to have some of that nervous energy with the big cases, don't you? Keeps us honest right to the most basic of care sometimes.

Great post. Enjoy your day.

EDNurseasauras said...

Know how you feel; I have downsized from a busy urban ER to a 6 bed semi-rural ER. My days are: routine, routine, routine, drug seeking, drug seekig drug seeking then a trauma. Keeps ya honest, alright. The motto for ER nursing should be "Be Afraid...Be Very Afraid".

Kim said...

I know what you mean. Sometimes it's like a bicycle, you really don't forget, but the adrenaline kicks in when the "real" emergencies come in!

Cynic in Scrubs said...

This would be funny if it wasn't so scary and true. But I am excellent at pushing Dilaudid too.

Katie Morales said...

Nipride? Cut down? Oh my! It has been a while! LOL!!

Queenmothermamaw said...

Came over from Nurses watch. I am an old 72, only retired 2 years. Can you imagine working til you are 70. I did it just to stay involved. Pop over for a visit some time. Blessings
QMM

A NURSE said...

wow...72 and u just retired 2 years ago - QMmamaw?? That would make me very depressed....to have to work that long.....and I have been at it 32 years.... :(
Hey, give me the premie birth in ER...that's my specialty! :)

Vote For David said...

My wife recently had a baby. I dropped her at the E.D. door, in labor, and parked ~100yds. away. She was upstairs and in a bed before I found out to where she had disappeared. She reported an amusing expression on the face of the triage nurse. Good times :)

Sx3 said...

They hang Nipride in the ED..now that is scarry!!!!!