Post-it Sunday 1/29/23- Emergencies outside of their knowledge

The post-it reads “What happens if there is an emergency outside of their experience/script?”

How to be a nurse is taught by examples of the usual. A cause and effect story. If the patient has pain, nurse administers pain medicine and patient’s pain diminishes. If the call bell has gone off, the nurse answers the call bell and helps the patient to the bathroom. If the oxygen saturation upon taking the vital signs, the nurse increases the oxygen and the O2 goes up.

Event, response to the event, event decreases or goes away.

Some nurse go their entire careers this way. And they always have the proper response to the event.

But what if the event is outside of their knowledge? Outside of their script?

How do they cope then? (hint: the answer is not always notify the provider)

Precptors, and mentors, and schools need to teach nurses to expect the unexpected.


How to react appropriately to a situation outside of their knowledge or their script.

Because, after 22 years in this business, I know that normal is not expected. And we best serve the patients by being flexible enough in the mind to react to all events. No matter how out of our knowledge it may be.

To go off script is to be able to improvise solutions on the fly, outside of the expected trajectory of events.

I bet you didn’t know that nurses were so adept at improv.

On no shift is this more evident than the shift where the support staff and management involvement is limited. I’m looking at you, evening and night shifts.

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