He was within the Ivy League for med college. His dad was an MD, and so they lived not too removed from this small city. Daddy’s home, a “mini-mansion,” was proper across the nook.
After efficiently finishing his residency, Dr. David turned our ER doctor. This was an enormous deal—an enormous fish in a bit pond.
He had an aura of wealth about him. He had a conceit about him, too.
He was new to our hospital however would positively be the highest canine. Something he informed me to do, I knew I needed to comply.
I liked ER nursing. I used to be nonetheless an LPN working actively on my RN.
We LPNs know our place. We all know our hierarchy. And I knew my place. I used to be there to serve, honor, and obey.
I couldn’t wait to be an RN. As a result of, as an LPN, we had been so restricted. And I wished a lot extra.
It was a Saturday. Round 02:30. A younger man got here stumbling into the ER. He was clearly intoxicated.
We sat him down on a stretcher. He had that matted look — dehydration.
Dr. David ordered labs STAT. The phlebotomist got here in and drew the blood.
The affected person had an unmistakable look of electrolyte imbalance:
Low blood strain. Coronary heart palpitations. Muscle twitching. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The EKG monitor confirmed ST despair and extended PR intervals. Just a few PVCs, too.
And simply as Dr. David predicted, this affected person had dangerously low potassium. Ok+ was lower than 2.6.
Dr. David knew I used to be an LPN. But it surely was simply him and me on this 6-bed ER. So no matter I legally couldn’t do, he must do it.
He drew up some potassium from a vial. I assumed he was going to combine this in a mini bag.
I used to be licensed to start out IVs. And so I did. LPNs had been by no means allowed to present any medicine IV push, although.
Dr. David by no means put the KCL in a mini bag. He had the KCL in a syringe and ordered me to present the potassium IVP.
He mentioned I may do it so long as he watched me.
In entrance of the affected person, I informed Dr. David that we couldn’t give this affected person KCL IVP (potassium chloride IV push). And he mentioned then he would do it himself.
I turned frantic. And in a agency voice, I informed Dr. David, “You cannot give a affected person KCL IVP. You’ll kill this affected person .”Dr. David bought the syringe and put it into the IV port. He was on the point of inject into this affected person. I instantly squeezed the tubing in half. So the KCL couldn’t undergo. And I repeated myself, “You can not give the affected person KCL IVP. It should cease the affected person’s coronary heart. You’ll kill the affected person.”
Dr. David stopped. He stared at me along with his evident eyes. And mentioned, “Effective, have him admitted to the medical flooring. Let these medical doctors take care of this affected person.”
This was within the late Nineteen Eighties.
I realized a invaluable lesson that night time.
No matter hierarchy ladder we stand on in well being care, all of us have a duty to our fellow well being care household and, most significantly, an obligation to our sufferers.
I do know I used to be a low rung on the ladder. However had I not spoken up and bent that IV tubing, that affected person would have seemingly died.
Dr. David was offended that I defied his authority.
Vanity can generally be fairly harmful.
In 2022, the NC Supreme Court docket dominated that nurses will be held responsible for medical errors or errors — even when they had been finishing up the physician’s orders.
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