When the Heart Stops

During the final Residency Friday before nurses began to work independently, they had a chance to learn the ins and outs of how to care for a dying patient and family. There are some things that just aren’t taught in school and are downright scary for a new nurse.  What do I say to the family? How does it feel to push that last pain medication? What do I need to do once the patient has passed?  What support do I have as a nurse if it has been an emotional experience for me?


The team also learned how to face one of the most commonly voiced concerns about being new – “What do I do if my patient stops breathing?” In order to ease fear, the residents took time in a simulation lab to learn the ropes of a code.

“Those first couple of minutes until help arrives are crucial.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed and freeze. The goal of the Code Blue Simulation is to help RNs learn their role during a code and when to call for help. The first time they tried it, it was a little chaotic. Then it got easier.  This is why we practice!” shared Mandy Pokorny, Residency Coordinator.

This was one of the most helpful ways I have experienced playing out code blue situation. I feel like my confidence increased quite a bit! If nothing else I can at least put on the oxygen. Making the scenarios as real life as possible and utilizing a “real” code team was helpful. I also love getting in there and doing it!

– Spring 2016 Resident