Knowing your limits


How many times have you ever heard over the phone a doctor tell you "do whatever you have to do, I will be there as soon as I can." What does that mean? How far is our limit? Will I get in trouble if I do this or that? I have been witness of many of these situations, having worked in a critical care of the past 5 years and been part of code teams, the best advice I can give you is to know your limit. On a specific situation a doctor told a nurse over the phone to do whatever she needed to do to intubate a patient with respiratory failure, she administered paralytics without a doctor at bedside. To make a short story of this, they were unable to intubate the patient, the patient died, and so on. The nurse should have asked specific questions/orders of what she can do and she should have known her limits. What I am best trying to say is, that one should know his and her own limits and just because a doctor tell you "do whatever you have to do to save the patient’s life" we still have limits and knowing our limits should be a big part of our nursing skills.

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