That is one long stethoscope!
You could stand outside the room, throw in one end and listen from the hallway!
It’s been my experience that the longer the tubing, the less I am able to discern breath sounds.
I thought I was going deaf from too many rock concerts until I bought a more expensive stethoscope that is just barely long enough to go around my neck. Breath sounds were clearer. Heart sounds were clearer. No more of those cheapie Littmanns for me (that’s no dis of Littmann, my upgrade was the Littmann Master Cardiology).
My doc had a stethoscope that was electronic. I checked it out. $800! I would love to have it, but I have learned from painful experience that the more expensive the stethoscope, the more likely it is to “walk”.
I’ll treat myself to it someday when I figure out how to weld it to my body…
The Nursing Voices forum is off to a great start!
By popular demand, we have added categories for advance practice nurses and faculty/research. I know from my BSN classes that many nurses are going back to school to allieviate the shortage of nursing instructors so any expertise in teaching or research is greatly appreciated!
There are many new nurse bloggers and some are submitting to Change of Shift for the first time. Emergiblog is almost two years old and during that time there has been an explosion of nurses blogging on the internet. From the pioneers like Code Blog: Tales of a Nurse and Mediblogopathy to the new (to me!) nurse blogs like Counting Sheep and This Won’t Hurt a Bit.
Emergency departments are noisy places. With all the people around hustling and bustling, you can’t even hear yourself think.
In the midst of all, you hear it.
Beep. Beep …….Beep.
Somewhere, somehow, someone conducted research to find the most obnoxious sound occurring at the precise interval at the perfect pitch to drive registered nurses out of their minds.
Then they installed it.
In the IVAC.
Some of my colleagues are highly sensitive to this repetitive warning that something is not right with an infusion. They can sense an alarm before the sound waves are even generated.
They sit straight up, head slightly tilted, muscles tense with anticipation of rapid deployment.
The machine does not make another sound.
I don’t ignore the alarm, I check out the problem. Downstream occlusion. Upstream occlusion. Whatever.
I don’t necessarily silence it when I’m trouble-shooting.
I probably should, just so my colleagues don’t think it is being ignored. For some reason it doesn’t drive me batty.
Now the alarm on the cardiac monitor is another thing altogether.
Our monitors sit high above the nurses’ station. It alarms. 99.99999% of the time it is artifact. But until the alarm is “silenced” by pushing a button it will ring. And ring. And ring. Not loudly. Not obnoxiously. Consistently, at a pitch that hits the brain just above the level of conscious thought.
Meaning it is easy to ignore once you have ascertained that there is no problem to address.
And so the game begins.
Three nurses and a doctor sitting under the monitor, which is making regular, persistent, mid-range hooting noises.
And no one moves.
A test of the will has begun.
Who can go the longest without “breaking” and silencing the electronic beast? Ironically, the same nurses who play “smack the IVAC” before it beeps twice are immune to the maniacal monitor monitone.
I usually win the contest because I push the repetitive noxious noise deep into my subconscious, causing fellow nurses to break before I do. Of course, if I’m sitting right under the monitor, one of my colleagues will politely ask me to please hit the damn BUTTON!
Huh? Oh! Sure…. (Tee hee! I win!)
Well, now they have made sure that the IVAC is audible to everyone and everything short of XM Satellite Radio.
Before you can open the machine to insert the IV tubing, you must conduct a “speaker test”. You press a button and a blast of sonic disturbance emanates from the infusion pump. Did you hear it? The machine asks you that! And if you did, and believe me you do, you must push the “Yes” button to continue.
(I wonder what happens if you push the “No” button?)
I know it’s for safety.
It’s also loud and obnoxious and another step in the ever increasing amount of minutiae we have to observe, document and perform each day.
So what else is new?
I’m using the term IVAC as a general name for an infusion pump. Not all infusion pumps are IVACs. We happen to use Baxter pumps, but that didn’t sound as good in the title!