A REAL Code “Blue”

A Real code

  “A real code, and real CPR is nothing like television or movies would have you believe. Its not a sexy doctor dramatically pounding his fist against a patients chest and yelling “Live Goddam it!” while a monotone flatline sounds from a monitor in the background and nurses somehow weep and swoon simultaneously. A real code is actually far worse; it is a violent, cold a cruel scene. Chest compressions have to be deep, hard and fast. All sex jokes aside, it is a physically demanding action usually resulting in broken ribs and internal organ damage. Large bore IV access is a necessity for the massive doses of epinephrine, lidocaine, and other potentially toxic medications that ironically if they weren’t capable of restarting a heart, they would surely stop it.

Successful resuscitation is not commonplace. What typically happens is a temporary restoration of vital signs that last hours, maybe days at best. In elderly or seriously ill patients, we often wonder if it is worth causing all the physical trauma a code entails. But if a person can be saved, and wants to be saved, who are we to decide their fate?” -Kelsey David Burnham Thank You for Dying: A Hospital Memoir.

https://twitter.com/EnlightenedAss

51Uov7UieWL._SL110_Thank you for Dying:: A Hospital Memoir

(Photo courtesy of Mark Fisher and Heather Thornton)

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Thank you for Dying: A Hospital Memoir….

51Uov7UieWL._SL110_Thank you for Dying:: A Hospital Memoir

“For general descriptive purposes, I have lumped all psychiatric patients into two convenient categories, the funny and the disturbing. We’ve all seen the ladder make headlines on CNN, from Ted Bundy to Ted Kaczynski. While I have had more than my share of experiences with the disturbing, I prefer to focus on the funny, and sleep better at night. (or during the day, such is the life of an RN)

   The funny, of course, is also a matter of opinion. Personally, I have always preferred the patients I find arguing with a coffee mug named Steve, the ones that are compelled to do a cartwheel any time a phone rings, or even the one apprehended after attempting to direct traffic at an intersection dressed as Napoleon Bonaparte.

   An all time personal favorite of mine was a man that believed he was God….”

Read more on Kindle or paperback…. 

Fate Makers….

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    “A real code, and real CPR is nothing like television or movies would have you believe. Its not a sexy doctor dramatically pounding his fist against a patients chest and yelling “Live Goddam it!” while a monotone flatline sounds from a monitor in the background and nurses somehow weep and swoon simultaneously. A real code is actually far worse; it is a violent, cold a cruel scene. Chest compressions have to be deep, hard and fast. All sex jokes aside, it is a physically demanding action usually resulting in broken ribs and internal organ damage. Large bore IV access is a necessity for the massive doses of epinephrine, lidocaine, and other potentially toxic medications that ironically if they weren’t capable of restarting a heart, they would surely stop it.

    Successful resuscitation is not commonplace. What typically happens is a temporary restoration of vital signs that last hours, maybe days at best. In elderly or seriously ill patients, we often wonder if it is worth causing all the physical trauma a code entails. But if a person can be saved, and wants to be saved, who are we to decide their fate?” -Kelsey David Burnham Slow Code.

https://twitter.com/EnlightenedAss   

Available on Amazon.com  Slow Code

“Normal”

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In the somewhat distorted world of healthcare, the word “Normal” can take on a complex range of perspectives. For a patient, things like being stuck with needles, peeing into a bag, and even being ‘felt up’ by strangers can evolve into a certain level of normalcy. On the other side of that coin of course is the staff. A small army of educated professionals who have somehow convinced themselves that sticking people with needles, carrying a urine sample, or touching a strangers genitals in a well-lit room are as routine as a morning cup of coffee. As the great Austrian Psychiatrist Afred Adler once said, “The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.”

-Kelsey David Burnham

http://www.amazon.com/Slow-Code-K-D-Burnham-RN-ebook/dp/B00V2TSG9U/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1430233795

Relationships….

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“My short, but feverish drive across the parking lot was completely unnecessary, as Jen had pulled over to the side to wait for me. I pulled up behind her and we were off. I did my best to use this time to relax, almost a meditative state before the real game would begin. As I struggled to stay directly behind her, I pictured the drive as a sort of metaphor for our relationship to each other. The pursuit of any woman was not unlike this drive, there were periods where it was easy to stay together because there was no outside interference. Then there were the obstacles, poorly timed traffic lights trying to separate us, aggressive drivers trying to wedge themselves between us. Like with any relationship, we had to find a way to communicate when words were not an option, in order to stay together.”

http://www.amazon.com/Slow-Code-K-D-Burnham-RN-ebook/dp/B00V2TSG9U/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1429019381

Jedi Mind Trick Part 2

51uFKQHQ6fL._SL110_America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System

“So I hear you have a gift?” she said sitting down with a bagel, apparently also trying to sneak in an early lunch.

   Oh I do, and would love to show you sometime I thought. But I just laughed and said, “What do you mean?”

   “I heard you did some sort of Jedi mind trick on Mr. Murphy.” I just shook my head. As much as I wanted to claim, yes, in fact I am indeed a Jedi, I couldn’t help but feel a little disenchanted. Those in the psychiatric field often claim that ‘medical people’ have no ability to interact, treat, or even recognize a mental illness….and I was starting to agree.

   “This is not the patient you seek” I said, waiving my hand in front of her face. She laughed. I figured the least I could do was lure her in a little more before revealing my true sarcastic and condescending nature. “My Jedi mind trick was actually just taking an additional ten seconds to introduce myself, and ask the patient if I could see his wound….instead of just barging in and grabbing him” I said. Her eyes got big as she pulled her head back and looked at me with confusion. Oops I thought. That might have been a bit much. “Sorry, occasionally my mouth outruns my brain” I said, in an attempt to bring back that laugh.

   “No….you’re right” she said, looking at her bagel instead of me. “But its hard, you know how it gets….and nobody cares that you have eight other patients to get to….” She said, almost looking ashamed.

   “Oh I know” I interjected, “I’m just saying that when you have a difficult patient, sometimes its all in the approach. Slowing down, taking an extra few seconds can help set the tone for a patient that is scared or confused….I mean….put yourself in their place, before labeling them as crazy….”

   She just looked at me for a moment, and then gave me the biggest smile yet, as if I had just serenaded her with a song. Evidently I was able to reel her back in with the sensitive male nurse routine, while hopefully enlightening her a little bit in the process. I couldn’t help but feel that our conversation had some genuine significance for her on a personal level. One thing was for sure, I had taken our work relationship to a more personal level, and attaining Jen was looking more and more like a reality.

   “I’m glad we have someone from Psych” she said, her eyes now choosing me instead of the bagel. “So how do you like working with Gloria?” she asked. I rolled my eyes, and tossed the remains of my sandwich into the garbage.

   “On that note….I think I feel the ground shaking, you better hide your food while I go find her….” I said with a smirk. She covered her mouth trying to hold in her laughter. I quickly made my way out the door before screwing up quite possibly the most perfect interaction I could have had with her. I looked back through the door as it closed, and caught her doing the same, still giggling.

-Kelsey David Burnham

51RNxeSfq4L._SL110_Healthcare Beyond Reform: Doing It Right for Half the Cost