Friday, September 7, 2012

What Success Feels Like

In my last post (here), I talked about how incredible successfully intubating a patient was.  Except that I was only basing that on things that people told me.  I had actually never done it before.

And to be quite honest, it was the one thing, the one procedure, that was expected of me in the PICU that scared me.  A lot.  Or maybe downright terrified me!  

Either way, I hadn't done it, and  had never really been taught(at least on a human...mannequins don't count!).  And so part of the terror may be the unknown.  That, and the fact that it may be the one life saving measure for kids in the PICU that I had NO clue how to do!

Until today!  

That's right.  I successfully put in an ETT all by myself.  I'm a grown up APN now : )

I had an 18 month old patient that we were just expecting to put an LMA in.  But then the surgeon changed his mind at the last minute on how he wanted him to be positioned on the table, and we decided (ok, really the anesthesiologist decided because I don't know what the best airway in the OR based on positioning is!) to intubate.

I didn't even have time to think about it or get nervous.  Which was actually probably the best thing possible.

The attending anesthesiologist and the resident were hovering over each of my shoulders.  Normally this would make me start sweating profusely, but I actually was relieved that they were able to see exactly what I was seeing.

No more episodes like the other day when I'm saying the airway is super small, and the attending is saying "Uh, yeah kids airways are small!" without actually seeing what I'm seeing!

I must say, I stayed cool, calm and collected...MUCH more so than I would have been had I had to "prepare" for it prior to the case starting.

And I just slid that ETT in easily.  I saw the cords, and saw the ETT glide right through them.

It was such an incredible feeling.  Exciting. Exhilarating. Nerve-racking. Proud. Amazing!  

I did it! 

I conquered probably what was my biggest fear in the PICU.  And on an 18 month old, with a "very small airway!" 

So I learned a few important lessons today on success:

1.) Success is so much better after an initial failure
2.) Success is so much sweeter when it is a success at conquering a fear
3.)  Success is so much more special when it can be shared with others...who can praise you and gush over how well you did!

OK so the last one is a little bit of a joke, but let me tell ya it made my success so much better hearing the compliments and praise from both the attending and senior resident anesthesiologist!  The attending even said, "Wow that was great technique! Much better than many first year residents who have done this a bunch of times already!"


So there are my thoughts on success...and my success story!  I know down the road I may read this post and think," Wow, I've intubated a good 1000 times now, and could do it with my eyes closed...that's so cute that it was such a huge success back then!"

But until I get to that point, I'm going to savor the success after a failure, the success of conquering a fear, and I will most definitely savor the praise and gushing over that success!

1 comment:

  1. Dana,

    What a great story! I'm going to post it in my blog--you've just described a great model for learning, growth and success!