Post-it Sunday 4/23/23-Pause and reflect before you ask

The post-it reads “Actual conversation a charge nurse had with a nurse in the hospital in front of me. ‘You want to know if you should have a monitor on a patient who is going down for imaging tests who has a sky-high blood pressure and a headache?’ My response would have been is this a trick question?”

I was chatting with a charge nurse from another department in the cafeteria when they got a call from one of the nurses on the unit. One of the nurses in their unit called to ask if they needed to send this particular patient down for testing on a monitor. Bear in mind that the reason they were going down for testing was the headache they had developed because of their very high blood pressure.

Pause to let that sink in.

A patient, experiencing a sudden 10/10 headache from very high blood pressure is in danger of a cerebral vascular accident. In layman’s terms, a stroke.

My initial answer in my head would not have been helpful. And I have no idea how this charge nurse refrained from yelling out loud, “Have you forgotten everything since nursing school?”

Part of a charge nurse’s duty is not to make fun of an honest question. This can be a time for learning for the questioning nurse.

The charge nurse calmly said to the nurse, “Yes, that person needs to be on a monitor the entire time they are out of department. And you should accompany them for the test. I’ll be right up to take your other patients so you can go with them. I can finish my lunch later.” They smiled at me in apology and repacked their lunch box, and left, still talking on the phone.

There is a good reason that charge nurses exist.

There is a good reason that I rarely got a full lunch when I was charge.

There is a good reason that I do not miss being on the floor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s