Yesterday I spent the day watching 3 colonoscopies, and hanging out with a VERY cool nurse anesthetist. I never realised how FAST they are- average scope time was about 10 minutes.
On the ortho floor, where the other half of the group is stationed, there was FAR more excitement. A woman, a few days post-op for a spinal surgery, went into trigeminy. No big deal according to the telemetry guys. Then bigeminy. Slightly more worried, especially when it continued for a few minutes. After about 5 minutes, the telemetry guys called up to the floor, and informed the nurse to maybe go check her patient. Upon entering the room, she immediately yelled "IM GOING TO NEED SOME HELP IN HERE!!!" within 30 seconds, the patient stopped breathing. They coded her for 45 minutes, and technically got her back, rushing her off to the ICU.
The problem is what CAUSED the code- probably either a PE or a stroke, according to my instructor. Probably lots of brain already dead. Who knows if she'll ever wake up.
Two of my classmates were traumatised. They had never seen a code, and NEVER a young person dying.
Slowly but surely, we're beginning to think less as laypeople, and more as nurses.