Codes and Cookies
When I started this blog I had a vision of seamlessly blending my love for baking with my life as a nurse. That train somehow derailed, and I went head first into the recipes section, leaving my lifestyle tab a little bare. For those of you who don’t know me personally (get a little intro here), I am marrying a tech nerd. If you can’t tell from the photo below, I am ecstatic about this.
I understand his job about as much as he understands mine, but it works. He has blessed this little blog with his skills behind the scenes, and every day he gives me an update on how many visits the site has had, what fed the visits, what pages people are digging, etc. He gets pretty geeked up about it, so I do too! This morning he informed me we have had over a thousand different visitors this month! So first of all, THANK YOU. Second of all, I realized maybe I’m doing this wrong. I have never wanted to weed through the personal stories to get to recipes, so I will forever keep my recipes tab just that. But part of the fun of a blog is getting to know the author and growing with them. Today’s post is a chance for us to get to know each other better.
I’ve had a great week in the baking world (reference those salted caramel chocolate chippers), but the nursing world has been a little rough for me. Two years ago when I was sitting in a trauma course one of the instructors said something that stuck with me.
“If you work in trauma long enough, you will take care of someone you know.”
I’d always known that. I’ve taken care of people I know one way or another plenty of times. I didn’t realize the profound impact it could have on me as both a human and a nurse until this week though. I hear at least one code blue a week called to one of the inpatient units. Frequently I’m the one to respond to it. This week I overheard “code blue -room number of dear friend-” and I went from badass ER nurse to a hot damn mess. For those of you concerned, the nurse who called the code was a little overzealous and this friend of mine is on the mend. The tears that welled up in my eyes, the panic that hit me, the feeling of being absolutely shaken to my core has stuck around though.
I, like many nurses out there, have to disconnect myself emotionally from my patients and their families. It is the only way to get through the day sometimes. So often we hear things like “we’ve given five rounds of epi, two doses of amiodarone, and shocked x amount of times. Does anyone have further suggestions? Is anyone opposed to calling it?” Nobody ever is. My nurse brain tells me that if this patient who has been down for 60 minutes does achieve spontaneous circulation, they will not have a great quality of life. That is my educated, taught to think this way brain. I am guided by the medical principe of do no harm. I stand by this.
This week made me think deeper though. Maybe I should take a little time to connect with my patients and their families. Maybe I should take time to process a code when it happens and check in on the patient’s loved ones. It is easy to walk out of the trauma bay, take a deep breath, and brace yourself for the fit your drug-seeking patient is going to have because it took you so long to get in there with their dilaudid. They don’t know what you just experienced, and you don’t share it with them. You just go about your day. These patients we code, their families, deserve more from us. Even if it is just a hug or a quiet prayer, they deserve more than us going about our days. I can say that now that I’ve felt that fear. I also believe that we as nurses deserve more. We deserve a space and a chance to process after we run a code, no matter the outcome. Maybe this section of the blog will become that for me. Stress baking just isn’t cutting it anymore!
For my nurses out there, how do you guys cope? I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Thanks for letting me be a tart of your world.