Every nurse has it. The sixth sense; that gut feeling. The thing that tells them to check on their patient “just one last time” The ability to judge what is an emergency and what isn’t, even though the two situations seem pretty much the same.  It’s the thing we can’t really explain to other people. In school it’s called critical thinking; the ability to look at all facets of a problem and come up with a solution. In reality, it’s instinct. It’s the years of experience you have, plus the experience of other nurses you’ve worked with. Hearing about other people’s stories gives you the ability to recognize the same situation. Plus that little voice that tells you  “just check one more time”
I was working nights, about to go for my break. I gave report to the covering nurse, and was about to head down to the cafeteria to meet a friend. I decided at the last minute to check the vitals on a patient that hadn’t been doing that great. They had been having some problems protecting their airway. The situation appeared to have been resolved. The MD was aware of the situation, the RT was aware; the patient had been doing okay. When I checked, the O2 sats were 75% on room air. They were totally obstructing their airway, and ended up being intubated and going to ICU.
A fellow RN decided to do early rounds one night, and found a patient attacking another patient in a ward room.
Call it what you may, but nurse’s instinct has saved more patients that anything else I’ve seen. 

4/9/2012 11:44:44 am

"Call it what you may, but nurse’s instinct has saved more patients that anything else I’ve seen."

I agree. I call this as the gut feeling, eh. :)

Take care,
Peny@<a href="http://www.pulseuniform.com/cherokee-scrubs.asp">cherokee scrubs</a>


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