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Code blue.

Overhead page.

Dammit.

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Tonight, praziquantel 600mg pills $216.00 that’s me.

*****

I grab the intubation bags.

Oh, praziquantel 600mg pills $216.00 there is intubation material upstairs but our docs like specific things.

Not a problem, praziquantel 600mg pills $216.00 they’re easy to carry.

I’m way too old to be taking these stairs two at a time.

*****

The sole role of the ER nurse?

Monitor person.

That’s it.

The pads are always on by the time we arrive.

I stand at the end of the bed.

Praziquantel 600mg pills $216.00 Watch the monitor.

*****

CPR in progress.

Someone is intubating.

Someone is pushing drugs.

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Charging.

Clear.

Shock.

Nothing.

Lather, praziquantel 600mg pills $216.00 rinse, praziquantel 600mg pills $216.00 repeat.

Nothing.

*****

The code is called.

I wrap the monitor strips into a neat little roll and hand it to the unit nurse.

Grab my (unused) intubation bags and head back to the unit.

This time I take the elevator.

And it hits.

*****

She’s dead.

Someone just died.

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Friend.

Phone calls are being made.

Lives are being altered.

Devastated.

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It’s all starts right now.

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Queen Bee from the wealthy part of town who decided a hang nail was an emergency is miffed by the wait.

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I don’t.

My god.

They have no clue.

*****

Family members begin to arrive.

In groups of two.

They look numb.

Upstairs, praziquantel 600mg pills $216.00 monitors are unhooked

Airways are removed.

The patient is detached.

So was I.

I thought.

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6 Comments

  • TBTAM
    TBTAM

    March 25, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Kim –

    This is such a powerful post – thank you for sharing it. Amazing writing.


  • kris
    kris

    March 26, 2009 at 5:37 am

    great post…always thought we work in a disassociative enviroment where we witness such things and then go back to something mundane (because for a while everything seems mundane after that) as if we have a switch we can flip on and off.


  • Candy
    Candy

    March 26, 2009 at 6:55 am

    I don’t think it matters how long you’ve been a nurse — death is not the objective for what you do. Very touching, and tough, by the sound of it. Thanks for sharing.


  • Maureen
    Maureen

    March 26, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Wow Kim, they always say less is more when writing and this proves it – You used short bursts of words and packed a whallop of emotional punch. Have I told you thank you lately for what you do? If I haven’t, THANK YOU!!


  • Reality Rounds
    Reality Rounds

    March 27, 2009 at 6:52 am

    If I didn’t work detached, I could not be a nurse. People would always ask me how I could work in a NICU with sick and dying babies, especially when I was pregnant myself. You focus and detach. Then you go home, cry, vent, laugh, anything to help cope and get through another day of seeing the best and worst of what life has to offer.


  • Lee
    Lee

    June 8, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    I am not an ER nurse, but a home health nurse,
    bond with my pts, when one dies, the other one and family, want me to stay in their life, it is so difficult to say not to invites, but I do, and feel guilty..what the hell do I do with this?? anyone got any suggestions


About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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