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Monday, September 23, 2013

Everything starts to run together...

Tomorrow makes 16...

I believe I've taken this course (or one similar) 15 times in my nursing career.
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
It's similar to Basic Life Support (BLS) now add in the
 airway support, recognition of heart rhythms, necessary drugs and IV's
Knowing which drugs to give their dosages, whether or not they need to be diluted, 
drug drips to start after the heart starts beating again. (that's the goal)
It's a little more complicated than the AED (shock machine)
 you see on the walls at stores, school and work-out centers.  
 In the hospital, you decide the amount of energy to zap,
 and whether to sync the machine or not depending on the heart rhythm.

 It used to be shock shock shock, now it's don't shock 1st,
 just start CPR, and never mind  the "look, listen and feel" for breathing, 
now you just sort of look at the chest of the victim, and
if you don't see a rise and fall, just start compressions.
"Hard and fast" compress down 2 inches 100 times per minute..... 
I've never stopped to see if my compressions were 2 inches. 
All I remember is the dreaded popping of cartilage between the ribs as I compress on the chest of a victim who's heart has stopped. 
anyway..... Back to the books!
 I'm reviewing for yet another ACLS test out. 
8 hours of review, practice then test out of a Mega code (pretend cardiac arrest scenario)
finishing the day with a  50 point  written test...ugh

 Over the last 31 years I think the American heart association has changed it's algorithm's and
 the way you manage cardiopulmonary arrest at least 4 times.  
My old brain still remembers the way it USED TO BE... back in the day
When things have been ingrained in your brain over and over again,
it's hard to remember which is the way they have decided now to do things? 
After working as an ER nurse for 16 years, I'll tell you one thing...
The book is only a guide (with great information), but when it's the real thing instinct kicks in
 and you do what makes sense with help form your team.
 "Book smart" wont get you far in nursing!
Thank goodness I don't have to really measure the 2" deep compressions, ha
 So review is where I'm at.... not doing much more than that hoping my old brain will remember which version of Advanced Life Support is the right one this time.  

Wish me luck..... from the Old nurse who has done CPR, and pushed emergency drugs more times than I dare care to remember.... some good outcomes, some not. 


  1. I have complete confidence in you! You got this girlfriend!

  2. Good luck tomorrow (which you don't need) You'll pass with flying colors :) Don't forget at the end of the Mega Code to say 'Hmm...have we thought about the cause...Hs & Ts....and what is our after care going to be?! Hahaha. It'll be such a relief to be done, for another 2 years that it. I already have to do it again next summer, bah!

  3. Good luck on your testing. You got it.No worries.

  4. I hate ACLS we do all ours on the computer I have opted out everytime and just taken the class the computer just seems to cause problems. We always have to end ours with does anyone else have any ideas You'll do great!

  5. Anonymous1:07 PM

    I have a feeling all will/has gone well!! Hugs and blessings to you, my bloggy friend!

  6. I Passed....yip yip :)

    1. No doubt from us readers that you would pass. God bless nurses like you who save lives.

  7. Good for you. Way to go. YIP YIP:)

  8. Anonymous5:37 PM

    Awesome, great job Jackie! Congratulations!!