* * Anonymous Doc

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A nurse I'd never seen before came in and calmly said: "I was talking to the new patient in room 18, and she suddenly stopped responding."

I was the only one on the floor and started to freak out. "Call a code," I said, and I raced to the room.

Where there was a mannequin neatly tucked into the bed.

The fellow passed the room and started laughing.

It was a fake-out, for training purposes, but, running on limited sleep, it sort of seemed like hazing.

Like there aren't enough real emergencies that they need to fake some for practice?

Like you really want us to be thinking, each time there's a code, in the back of our minds, what if it's a fake?

I understand the pedagogical intention, but, really, it doesn't make a lot of sense. We're trained in CPR, we're already responsible for patients, what is this supposed to teach us? There's a code, we run. We run and we start chest compressions and we do everything we're supposed to do. It's not like if we fail on the mannequin there are any consequences-- we're still doctors, we're still residents, all it can possibly do is make us doubt ourselves.

The mannequin died. My chest compressions weren't hard enough. I need to push more, break a couple ribs. Except real people feel different from fake people, and I don't know that killing the mannequin means I would kill a patient. And practicing on a mannequin doesn't really tell me how hard I have to press on a real person. And now I'm all nervous about the next time-- and for what? Because the mannequin told me I failed? This isn't teaching. This is stupid.

1 comment:

  1. A nurse that calmly says "the patient isn't breathing" rather than calling a code themselves is either faking you out or too stupid to work.