Posted on May 12, 2011
Guest Blogger ? madness: tales of an emergency room nurse
This Nurses Week, we?ve asked our favorite Nurse Bloggers to contribute posts explaining why they became a nurse and their feelings on being a nurse. Today?s guest blogger is madness: tales of an emergency room nurse, an ER Nurse working in the Inner City and blogs about her experiences. Thanks, ?madness?!
Nursing is crazy, but worth it.
When someone comes to triage with chest pain, we take them back immediately and they get an EKG. The goal is: patient gets an EKG and it is read by a doc within 10 minutes of arrival. If it is a STEMI (ST elevation MI), we activate a system that is called a Level I MI protocol. A cardiologist is notified along with the CV lab team. We start an IV, give aspirin, Plavix. Labs are drawn. We start a nitroglycerin and heparin infusion. We may give Lopressor. Our ER has become so good at this that we have actually had patients go to the cath lab in 15 minutes. Often times we will hear later that they had significant blockage and how many stents were placed. Because we are such a good team, the patient suffered no heart damage.
When someone comes in with stroke symptoms that started less than 3 hours prior to arrival they go immediately back. We activate our Level I Stroke Protocol. A neurologist is called. The patient is taken to CT for a head scan right away. Once it is determined that there is no hemorrhage in the brain and that the patient meets criteria, TPA, a clot busting drug is started. I have seen people come in with stroke symptoms that are resolved before they leave the ER. They suffer no residual effects of the stroke.
Those are two examples of why, despite the stress and craziness of the job, I remain a nurse. We can make such a difference in peoples lives.
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