How do you deal with a bad code?

Dealing with death is unavoidable for many nurses. We see it often. It’s not something nursing school can teach you. And it’s surely not anything you can read out of a book. How you recover emotionally will set the pace of your career, especially if you work in acute care. But, how do you gather yourself after an “arrest” that rocked you to your core?

Here are some things I suggest:

  • Recognize its importance
  • Talk about it
  • Allow them to die with dignity
  • It’s an honor
  • Treat every single death like it’s the first
  • It’s absolutely OK to cry
  • Take care of yourself
  • Do something for someone else
  • Find the balance
  • Debrief

And the one thing that you should NEVER do…? Check out the video below for my answer:

**IMPORTANT NOTICE** This was a recording from my Instagram account, so it’s not the highest quality (wonky formatting). Some of the video content and conversation is out of context, but I thought the information was valuable and wanted to share it here. I hope you don’t mind.


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The views and opinions expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are that of myself and not of any educational institution. In compliance with HIPAA and to ensure patient privacy, all patient identifiers in all content have been deleted and/or altered. The views expressed on this website and/or in the videos on this channel are personal opinions only, not intended as medical advice. The information I present is for general knowledge purposes only.
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