So I’m on ER orientation for 6 weeks and for those 6 weeks there are all sorts of classes I need to take. So for the month of August I’m only actually working with my preceptor about 7 times. (obviously I’ve negotiated to extend my orientation period)
Last week I got certified in PALS which is pediatric advanced life support. I was really nervous before I went A. because I heard it was hard but also because B. our educator sent out this terrifying letter (which she swears was a form letter from the heart association) with a whole pre-course checklist that we had to complete. You had to know this -or you might fail- you had to know that because they weren’t going to teach it -or you might fail- and so forth.
Plus I was pretty sure that my score on the pretest (a 68%… and I took it twice) indicated I shouldn’t be working with children regardless.
Overall the class wasn’t as bad as I thought, I really felt like I learned a lot. I passed the case study portion where you’re the team leader and direct the team during a code. I was also really proud that I did so well on the written portion getting about the same scores as some of the vastly more experienced nurses. Considering I still haven’t had basic arrhythmia training (that’s next week) or ACLS (advanced cardiac life support, that’s next month) I thought that was pretty impressive because some of the information from those was in this course. For instance, all the cardiac drugs you really only ever give in a code situation… no experience there.
So I am now PALS certified and I do feel much more prepared to handle an emergency involving a child who may happen to wander in off the street, which is really rather empowering!
(Although in all seriousness people, a world renowned children’s hospital is 5 blocks away, please take your sick kid there)