Code Blue – 2 words a nurse never wants to hear.
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and Wisdom to know the Difference.
I am an ICU nurse. The worst part of the job is losing a patient or even almost losing a patient. The words, Code Blue, immediately set your insides on fire. It is something you never forget. Even when you have been involved in multiple codes, your brain, your thoughts, your body, never really accepts it.
Sometimes people think being a nurse is “pushing meds” or just “taking care” of people. Being a nurse is so much more. Imagine when you brought your newborn home from the hospital. All you can think is; let me do everything right, let me keep my baby healthy, let me be a great mommy.
Well now apply that to nursing. When I get to work I always say the nurses prayer. My goal is to do everything right, to somehow keep my patient’s from getting worse and maybe help get them better. And the number one goal is for God to grant me the wisdom to keep them alive if it is His will.
Being a nurse is not clocking in and clocking out. It is working 12-13 hours shifts, caring for very sick humans, showing compassion not only to them but their families as well, working well with your coworkers (whom are your lifeline).
When you get home you do not forget that shift. Especially a shift that included a code blue. You break it apart, minute by minute. You over analyze and question if you did everything you possibly could. You ask your self a million times, did I miss something? Then you go back in 12 hours with a smile on your face and a smile in your heart and do it all over again.
What is a Code Blue?
A code blue is called when your patient technically dies. Their heart stops beating and they are no longer breathing on their own. The code blue team work together to try and revive or resuscitate the patient. It is scary. It is chaotic. It is also life changing for all of those involved.
Immediately your mind goes to a different place. All you can think about is we have to do everything we can to get this person back. And as a team, a well trained team, you work together (almost like a well choreographed dance) to do the best you can. Yes people are yelling out orders, tempers are on edge and everyone might not be “nice”. Shake it off! That is normal. Everyone has the same goal.
And if it is God’s will, your code will end with a patient who still has a fighting chance. Those are the good codes. Not all end that way and those are the ones you cry about when you are driving home.
Being a nurse is not always amazing. Some days are hard and some days you leave work thinking you really made a difference. The important part is you never lose sight as to why you chose this career in the first place. When you have a hard shift try not to over analyze it. You will drive yourself crazy. Also learn from every experience. And NEVER once think you know it all and don’t need help. You will never know everything and a good nurse, no a GREAT nurse, will always welcome help.
So if you know a nurse, just understand their job is not only physically hard but mentally exhausting. However, nurse’s have a way of making it seem like all is okay. Even when their insides feel like they are on fire.