Emergencies happen all the time, especially when you’re a nurse! Chances are you already have or are about to experience a patient emergency. Keeping calm and knowing exactly the right procedure can help you keep your cool! Here are some tips on how to effectively handle a patient emergency so you can handle the situation like a boss!
1.Know Your Equipment
Not only do you need to know how to work your equipment, but you need to know where it is located as well! This may seem obvious, but code equipment can be easily overlooked because you pass it all the time. Routine code cart checks are a great way to familiarize with life saving equipment. But don’t wait until it’s your turn to check. When you find yourself with a free minute, or even just before work, review where the code cart is, as well as the oxygen tank and ambu bag. Make a diagram of the drawer contents and laminate it so finding the meds and supplies you need during an emergency will be second nature. And make resuscitation medications and dosages review part of your daily routine.
2. Press The Button
A patient’s condition can deteriorate quickly, and what you could manage by yourself may change in a blink of an eye. Don’t be afraid to call for your teammates to help you. No one wants to call an unnecessary code, but if things start to go bad then you and your patient will be glad you did. You should never need to apologize for calling a code, even if the patient winds up stabilizing.
3. CPR, CPR, CPR
Document vital signs. Get those IVs in. Have meds and fluids and the defibrillator ready as quickly as possible. But it always comes back to: Does the patient have a pulse? Are they breathing? Are they responsive? And if the answer to each of those questions is no, compressions and respiratory support are essential while prepping for more advanced resuscitation methods.
4. Have A Job You’re Comfortable With
If you’re an excellent documenter, be the one to pick up that code documentation form and stay focused on that task. If you excel at drawing up meds, go directly to work there. Everyone needs to have a certain degree of flexibility, but when you know your strengths and play to them, you will function better as a team.