I got that awesome new catchphrase from a patient today. In short, I was pulled into the trauma room to watch a patient having cardioversion today, a rare occurrence in our hospital, since usually we are shocking dead patients in resuscitation rather than the living. The basis behind cardioversion is that the patient is in an aberrant rhythm and you shock them (in an organized fashion, marking the R waves of the EKG, which is what makes cardioversion different from defibrillation) in hopes that you will be able to startle the heart back into a normal sinus rhythm. They used conscious sedation, which is intended to calm the patient as well as act as a handy amnesic, and it worked well. The patient was calm and chatty leading up to the shock. I was probably more nervous that he was. Upon shocking, his body arched weirdly, like only a 100 joules of electricity can do, and he exclaimed, “HOLY HAMBURGER!” I admit, I laughed. Plus, he didn’t even remember that we had shocked him a few minutes later, and he converted to a normal rhythm, so it all ended happily. The ER can be a very happy place when everything works out as intended.
So, I am starting orientation. I still don’t know quite what to expect. I am stressed, excited and apprehensive. I have only been there a few weeks and haven’t been taking my own patients yet. But apparently, that may change tomorrow, since the hospital just activated its disaster protocol for Hurricane Irene. All nurses on deck, either for the acute phase (storm) or recovery (after the storm). That includes lil ol’ me. I am going in tomorrow afternoon, and depending on the storm’s course, they told me not to expect to leave until MONDAY! Talk about a dramatic entry to the world of nursing. Don’t tell my mother, but I am pretty darn excited.
Wish me, and all souls that find themselves in Irene’s wrathful path, good luck!