May 16, 2009

ACLS and Funerals

I am proud to say that I am officially certified in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS). A few months ago, it was decided that all of the labor RN's needed to obtain ACLS, that way we can recover our patients who end up general anesthesia for a c-section. Rarely, does that happen, but up until very recently, we had to call a nurse from the PACU to come recover the patient afterwards. There are horror stories about taking ACLS training and having to do the "megacode". But, it wasn't so bad. It wasn't my idea of a good time, but now I will know what drugs to push if my patient, God forbid, goes into cardiac arrest. The thing is, I'll probably never, ever have anything to do in a code. I am not on the hospital's code team, we rarely call a code (only know of 2 since I've worked OB)and by the time the code team gets to us, all we'll have time to do is grab the crash cart and start compressions. ICU is directly under us. So response time is very quick. Which, is just fine with me. But, I'm still ACLS certified either way. Feels good to be done with it.

This past week, Husband's grandmother passed away. She'd been sick for quite awhile and she's been ready to go "home" for several months. She had been seeing her late husband, a daughter who died years before and a late son-in-law, so we all knew her time was running short. She was ready, and although it is never easy to say good-bye, as we all want her here, she is no longer in pain and is with her family and God. This will also be the first time Jacob and Clara will go to a funeral/visitation. We've tried talking to them, trying to prepare them for seeing Great-Grandma, looking like she's sleeping, trying to explain that it's just her body and that her spirit is with God, etc. They seem to understand as well as can be expected for a 4 and 5 year old. Part of me wants to shield them from it, because, really, our society's approach to death is strange. We force the immediate family to stand next to their loved one, lying there in a coffin, for hours while people come through to give condolences and have a "last look". I remember that was how it was explained to me when my grandmother died when I was in kindergarten. A last look. But, death is a part of life, they know about God and Heaven so hopefully, they'll do alright.

5 comments:

Fertilized said...

Congrats on the certification.

So sorry to hear about your husband's Grandmother

BirthdayNurse said...

Did you do the OB-ACLS certification? I just got certified in February and it wasn't bad at all! We only had to learn a few drugs and there's only like 1 or 2 differences with the drugs but it's nice to know the things to think about with the OB part of it (like 4 min's before delivery is suggested and remembering to displace the uterus, etc). Congrats on the certification...hope you never have to use it!

Surrounded By Boys said...

I agree about how weird funerals are! I prefer closed caskets, myself. It was strange for me at age 17 to go to my first funeral (also for my grandmother) so I can only imagine how a small child would process that. Hope they do well!

THAT GIRL said...

I have been googling and googling that OB-ACLS cert ever since you posted this!

I was the one on my unit who steered us in the diretion of having at least all charge nurses ACLS certified... I trained them all on how to attach leads on the crash cart Zoll monitor... place shock pads... it was FUN!

It is the old ER nurse in me, I guess. For the longest time I'd rather code the Mom, than the baby... now (after 4 years) I can do both...

Abigail F Shipley said...

ACLS which is an abbreviation of Advance cardiac life support. It is a training course provided to cure serious health issues and heart conditions. Taking ACLS certification will move candidates beyond the basic life support.