In the line of Fire

In the line of fire

In healthcare, we all share a few things in common despite our areas of specialty. One of these things is that we each have made a choice to put the needs of others before ourselves.

I tell the story often in class when one morning a wonderfully feisty 71 year old woman who was on the ventilator, and had multiple contact isolations in place as well…as most of our patients do. This young lady decided to decanulate herself and went into respiratory arrest right after. When I heard the code called over head I rush to the room and found one of my co-workers compressing while another was bagging her; neither had on an isolation gown or even gloves. Everyone in that room was at risk for MRSA, VRE and her C-Diff, but the mentality of the room was focused on “not on our shift Mrs. Smith”.

As arrogant as that statement is for us to make, we have all muttered those sentiments about a patient. Although Mrs. Smith’s situation had a great outcome, we are not always guaranteed such results.

We get to come in contact with over 20 blood borne pathogens on any patient at any given time, and the exciting part is…we never know who is infected.

Take time to care for yourselves, remembering that at the end of your shift…you go home. Wear your PPE, wash your hands, and know your risks…. you are very important!


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