During the day shift one of our long time nurses came to work as usual and told the charge nurse that she just did not feel well, she had some discomfort in her sternum. The charge nurse immediately did an EKG and it was normal. The nurse went to get some breakfast thinking maybe she was hungry.
When she returned to the ED, staff realized she was diaphoretic and her color was not good. They immediately placed her on a cart and placed her on a cardiac monitor. Anyone that works ED realizes one of our greatest fears is that we would need to care for one of our own in a truly emergent situation. This nurse was having an MI right in front of them and there was great emotion around caring for her.
One nurse stood out during her care, Barb Brown, RN. This was not her assignment but she went into action and made sure the nurse got exactly what was needed. When the thrombolytic was administered and she had runs of Vtach, (it was evident she was experiencing re-perfusion) even though ED nurses see this many times it was extremely personal to watch "one of their own" experiencing this. Many cared for our seasoned nurse that day and all are to be recognized for extraordinary care and caring but as we all know someone taking the lead and guiding others is a great help when emotions are running high. Barb is someone we want on our team and we appreciate her putting her feelings aside to give great care. She did what she needed to do to save a life.
All is well with our nurse. Her cardiologist told her if she had been anywhere else when this happened she probably would not be here today.