Thursday, October 27, 2011

And Down She Goes!

I don't often solicit unwanted advice. And I certainly don't solicit medical advice to adults.

For one, I don't work with adults. For two, I'm not licensed or credentialed to do so. And three, I just like kids better.

But this week I most certainly gave advice to an adult and felt no remorse about it!

The aunt of a patient came to visit around 1:30 pm. She came into the room next to me where I had been helping out most of the day. My patient wasn't very sick. This patient was.

The aunt looked a bit overwhelmed when she walked into the room, and I don't blame her. The patient is extremely sick with cancer, and is hooked up to a bunch of machines. The room just looks overwhelming from the outside.

About 3 minutes into the aunts visit, she started to look really flushed, and then pale. As she started to fan herself and say "It's so warm in here...."

I'm sure you can guess where this is going. Down she goes!!!

And let me tell ya. This lady passed out hard and fast!! She conked her head on the wood floor HARD! I was standing about 10 feet away and heard her head hit! Ouch!

I always say "go big or go home" but this is taking it to the extreme. OK, I guess I've never really said that, but it is a saying. So someone must've said it before. And I bet they were really smart!

But back to the Fainting Fun. So of course the aunt is unconscious, and another nurse pulls the code button. We need some help in here.

And in a not funny situation, we managed to laugh (after the fact of course!). As the nurse pushes the code button, all she kept saying was "We have to make sure everyone knows the code isn't for the patient...We have to make sure everyone knows who the code button is for!"

Now let me just tell you, there is a grown woman sprawled out, unconscious on the floor blocking the doorway. I'm pretty sure staff members running in the room will see pretty clearly that the patient is fine. But the lady on the floor, not so much!

Luckily, she woke up shortly after she fell, and was more embarrased than hurt.

Despite insisting that she was fine, we still hooked her up to a transport monitor to make sure her vitals were stable, and I grabbed a quick accucheck to see what her glucose was.

Only her glucose was SO low, it wouldn't even register on our machine.

Which was when the aunt said that she hadn't eaten since 3pm the day before. And she played competitive volleyball the night before. Oh, and one more little detail- she also went for a 6 mile run that morning!

So this was where my unsolicited advice came in. And I felt pretty confident that despite not having adult experience, this was warranted!

For the love, before coming into the PICU, please eat!

And if you are choosing to do the "no food and tons of exercise diet" please stay away from our PICU.

Because us PICU nurses like saving lives...but only the little kid-like ones : )


  1. That made me smile. It is funny how peads nurses think when an adult is sick on the ward! Like you said, the they would see that the patient was fine but we think about the patient first! :)

  2. You commented on my post and I would not have found you otherwise.
    Truthfully, I read a few posts and you write well, I clicked on the follow you.

  3. Yes, Milla, us Peds Nurses think very different when it comes to the adult world!!

    And thank you NP Odyssey- I appreciate your comments! Thanks for following!