In studying my ACLS text for my upcoming class (dreading. . .dreading. . .anything remotely approaching a skills lab setting makes me shake with apprehension), I found myself thinking of how my perspective has changed since entering the health care field.
I used to just be-bop into the store with nary a thought of what I’d do if someone collapsed in front of me. Sure, I’d taken the occasional first-aid course, but still, I hadn’t really internalized it. Now, I walk into a large store or building, and find myself scanning the walls to locate the AED, avoiding anyone who looks like they might not feel well (I used to only avoid the actively sneezing and coughing, but now my immune system just shrugs and says “whatever” when confronted by someone else’s germies, for the most part), and just trying to get in and out with the least chance of a medical incident possible.
For you see, my friends, at work I am becoming what is gently known as a “magnet.” If a patient will try to become unstable, have a cardiac event, de-sat into the 80’s, whatever, it will probably occur on my watch. Doesn’t really matter that I’m new. . .it has only taken three weeks on my own for the patients to get the memo that they can feel free to have some sort of incident while I’m caring for them. Already, I’m greeted on my floats with “hey, good to see you, I’m sure you won’t have a Rapid Response this time!” I have tried everything to get off this streak, including a float to Psych (where I was nowhere near anyone even remotely medically unstable). Nothing has worked. It’s only a matter of time before this tendency follows me into my off-hours.
I’m hoping that by outing this possibility on my blog, I can somehow prevent it from occurring. This is somewhat akin to the superstition that causes nurses to pull the code cart outside the room of a patient whose condition makes them nervous. We’ll see!