Despite what it may look in TV series and movies, coded situations occur rarely. However, due to the fact that they do occur rarely, this means that they are intense. While witnessing them, it has always amazed me how quickly and seamlessly nurses and physicians move into action – especially the preciseness in which they take that action so rapidly. Code situations move healthcare practitioners into a zone that few people know exists.
Not too long ago, I walked into work to my home floor, to find a full code blue was in progress. Shockingly, the code blue had occurred, not on a patient, but on one of our very own nurses who had worked the night shift the evening before. It happened during the time the shifts were changing over from night to day shift.
As I approached the nurses’ station, I quickly found my fellow occupational therapist amongst the stunned faces. It was then that I was able to gather more details of the event.
Quick Thinking and What-Ifs
He told me how this day shift nurse, Samanda Pearson noticed this particular nurse to be staring off into space. She asked if her fellow nurse was doing alright but did not get a response. Puzzled, Samanda approached her and noted something was very wrong. Per staff reports of the event, she was lifeless, pulse-less, and not breathing.
Samanda lowered her to the floor and called other co-workers to aid in her efforts to start resuscitation. Thankfully, she was revived by chest compressions and multiple electric shocks at the nurses’ station by her own co-workers before being transferred down to the Emergency Room.
The rest of the day, the staff on 10 East revisited the “what-ifs” of that morning. “What if she had been anywhere else when that happened?” Apparently, she had been asked to come into work that evening to cover for someone else – she wasn’t even scheduled to be there. One of the biggest “what ifs” was related to Samanda’s quick action. What if she hadn’t taken the extra steps she did that day? From what I heard, Samanda could have easily assumed that her friend was tired and just deep in thought. What would have happened if she hadn’t made sure? But that’s the thing about Samanda – day in and day out – as a Palmetto Health nurse, she always makes sure. That is her job.
Without Samanda starting the cascade of actions that ultimately saved her friend’s life that day, the outcome would have been very different. Obviously, many nurses and physicians participated in the code blue. Saving lives is what all of the fine nurses and physicians at Palmetto Health do every day whenever it is required of them.
ONE NURSE WAS MORE THAN A NURSE THAT DAY - SHE WAS A HERO.