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Friday Frenzy: PACU/ED/ICU edition

April 14, 2017

Alright, because of HIPAA, I am way too scared to really disclose too much info about my day. But I will let y'all know that I had the cool opportunity to be in the PACU for the first half of the day with my preceptor, then she brought me to the ED and ICU to see some other things. 


For those who just popped in to the blog or don't have a complete grasp on medical abbreviations:

PACU = post anesthesia care unit

ED = emergency department

ICU = intensive care unit


Things I saw/assisted in/random comments I had based on today:

1. Nurses are freaking superheroes who know SOOOOO much more than you think

2. Set up wall suctioning

3. ETT (endotracheal tube) insertion 

4. Uhhh... a lot of nurses/doctors don't know exactly what is in the crash cart -- you don't HAVE to run across to the supply closet to get what you need. It's probably in the crash cart.

5. You don't use a defibrillator on a patient who is asystole (flat line).... You start compressions right away. So what you see on TV when a person flat lines and they shock them... that's wrong. You can only defibrillate (shock) a patient who actually has some type of wave form (like v fib or something). Sounds intuitive... but I actually didn't know that before :P  (see picture below to see what i mean)

6. Aortic Sun = used for hyperthermia to cool a patient

7. Bair Hugger = used for hypothermia to warm a patient 

8. Triple lumen central line insertion into the internal jugular vein! Sterile procedure, ultrasound guided. Pretty neat. 

9. If a patient is super hypoglycemic or super acidotic.... one IV push of dextrose and one IV push of sodium bicarbonate is not gonna cut it... 

10. CVVH = continuous veno-venous hemofiltration --> this is used for patients with acute renal failure and won't be able to do hemodialysis


Alright, I guess that's it for now. Sorry if this post seemed really vague and random. I'm also using my blog as a platform to look back on in the future when I want to recall the things I've experienced. 


Hope if you're an aspiring health professional, this makes you excited! You see and do some pretty neat things even as a student! 


Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!... wish I was at Coachella Music and Arts festival this weekend.. or next weekend... but duty calls. 






P.S. Picture below for cardiac arrest algorithm -- when to shock. (from American Heart Association)


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