Daily Prompt/Critical Care

Daily Prompt: Sink or Swim

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

Working in critical care is very stressful. When I first started  I had a patient on life-support, he was a gunshot victim and it was touch and go to see if he would live. I was left with the patient, taking vital signs and checking his machines outputs.

I was just checking his blood pressure when the patient vital signs hit rock bottom. Every alarm blared, then the emergency team rushed into the room. They pushed me to the side to resuscitate  the kid . I watched in horror as the young man didn’t respond to their efforts. I was shaking with grief, wondering what I had done!

Then I felt something like wind blowing around my legs. I looked down and saw that a vital part of his life-support machine, a tube, had a tiny crack. The system wasn’t close, so he wasn’t getting the vital support he needed. I knew it was the reason he wasn’t responding.

I quickly rushed out the room grabbed another part and replaced it. When I did the patient’s vital signs quickly improved. Everyone was so relived wondering what happened to cause the kid to respond after everything they had done.

That’s when my supervisor told them what I had done. In just that short time I went from the rookie inexperienced person that had caused a patient’s distress to his savior. It was quite a hair raising experience, but one that helped not only my patient to live but me to overcome the fears for the job.

Copyright © 2013 Glynis Rankin

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