I’ve noticed that my department’s staffing demographics are somewhat unusual because we have a lot of young staff. I’m defining ‘young’ as under 35 with 3-6 years of nursing experience. We also have a few ‘well preserved dinosaurs’ (their term, not mine) who work mostly part-time/casual hours. I have nothing but the best things to say about our dinosaurs because they took me under their considerable wings and set me on the right nursing path. However, when it comes to adopting new technology, some of them are downright useless! Every shift worked with them involves listening to how the order entry system is an abomination upon God’s Good Green Earth and could possibly be an additional horseman of the apocalypse that’s not mentioned in the Bible. Many of them are also viciously opposed to the new defib pads because they feel that the glue is inferior to the previously used brand.
So imagine my luck when I got partnered up with one of the dinosaurs in resus and we got a patient having a big ol’ stemi. We did the usual stuff to stabilize him for a transfer to the cath lab. On the way there the man went into v-fib. We tried to shock him but for some reason the shock wasn’t delivered. Absolutely panicking, I start throwing things out of the emergency transport bag looking for a new set of pads when my partner took the paddles attached to the defibrillator and used those to shock the patient. The baby docling accompanying us was speechless as was I because the monitor showed an organized rhythm and bought us just enough time to get the patient to the cath lab.
In summary – lesson learned. Dinosaurs may be old and roar a whole lot, but their bad-assery is NEVER to be underestimated. Ever.