STICU blackout!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Some of my favorite coworkers.

and it's April...

I'm not really a fan of April. My car turns yellow, sneezing sends hundreds of germs into the air, it rains...and floods as of late. But worst of all, bad things happen. My best friend and I have hated April for three years now, and after talking to her last night it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Yeah, yeah, maybe that sounds superstitious, and no, I've got little belief in superstition after being born on Friday the thirteenth (or so my mother says). I just don't like April. It's usually spent wishing it was May anyway.

It's been so long since I've written it's hard for me to think of anything meaningful to say. The job is good. I still mostly enjoy it, although over the last month I have hated it for the first time.

I had my first patient that was mine, 100%, without a preceptor, code on me and pass away. It was hard. I cried. Mostly because of the stress of the situation and the fact that it happened so fast. I didn't even "get" what was happening until everyone but me left the room after the patient was pronounced. I was left with a little old man's body that had undergone severe trauma, and it just hit me that I was sad. So I cried. Any then I went back to work.

I think I did good. You always wonder what you'll do the first time you see your patient's heart rate plummet into the 30's and your blood pressure unaltered by several medications. You just kinda stand there and think, "huh, I have exhausted all the options and this guy is still gonna die."

That's when health care professionals are reminded that we are indeed, in control of nothing. We forget sometimes. I forget often. It's amazing what we can change about a body with medications, treatments and even body positioning.

But sometimes, there is nothing we can do.
And that's good. I know I sure don't want to be in control.

I had the Head of Trauma Surgery at one of four Level I Trauma Centers in Georgia look at me and say, "Well, what happened? I've got no idea."

And sometimes that's exactly how it goes. Of course no family member wants to hear that you aren't quite sure why or how or what happened that caused their loved one's death. But every now and then it's comforting to me.

It comforting because it's as if my God steps in a says, "Hey, in case you were doubting, giving yourself too much credit, or thinking that you had some sort of control over human physiology, you are wrong. Just wanted to remind you."

My job is a consistent learning experience, and that's probably my favorite part. I never want to be so unchallenged in my work that I'm not learning anything. When I get bored I'll move on.

Until then I'm still trucking, and just hoping to make it through April.