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Posted on Thu Apr 13th, 2017 @ 8:31pm by

Mission: The Space Between
Location: ER

Cate was on her second day of work as the Director of Nursing for the Rock. She had spent the first day going over staff records and familiarizing herself with those she would be leading. It wasn't as big of a list as one would expect for this large of a facility but, considering what everyone here had been through, it was impressive. Today was going to be spent meeting as many of them as she could and getting an idea of what they expected from their jobs so she could lead them to meet their goals. Treating patients and assisting physicians was only a part of the duties of the medical support staff. Each...whether a nurse, corpsman, physician's mate or nurse practitioner...could contribute beyond their specified duties in many ways and Cate wanted to know who was willing to go the extra mile and how they saw themselves doing that. She gulped down the last of her coffee and left her office. Her first stop was going to be the In-patient Care wards and she planned on working her way down to the Emergency Department.

=====2 hours later=====

Cate walked through the rear entrance of the Emergency Department and, quietly, made her way to the centralized nurses' station. She had toured the ER after her physical the day she had first arrived, with Dr. Nichols and had been impressed with what she saw and what the Doc had planned for it and the rest of the facility The tour had happened a week ago and, already, a lot of the work that was being done during her tour was finished and the entire department glistened with new acrylic partitions, glistening white counters, walls and floors and gleaming chrome accents. Already the patient cubilces' monitors were displaying on screens in the nurses' station. There were still engineers dressed in coveralls working in a few areas but, for the most part, things looked to be ready for business.

As if on cue the main doors slid open and two EFTSs ran through the doors, guiding a hover gurney between them. “Incoming!” one yelled and four nursing staff ran over. As the group rushed into a cubicle, Cate heard, 'he chocked on something in the officers' mess. Someone tried the Heimlich but couldn't dislodge the obstruction.” Cate moved over to the entrance to the cubicle just as one of the nursing staff jumped up on the gurney, straddled the patient and began CPR.

“WE NEED A DOCTOR IN HERE!” a nurse called out as she hurried around the cubicle, collecting instruments.

“I can't get an airway!” the EFTS at the head of the gurney called out.

“Let's get him on the biobed!” someone said and the nurse on the gurney jumped down. Grabbing the drape underneath the patient, the team moved him onto the biobed and a nurse switched on the monitors. The other EFTS jumped up on the biobed, straddled the patient and resumed CPR.

“Let's crike him,” the EFTS at the head of the bed said. “Get me a crike tray.”

As one of the nurses dashed over to a cabinet, Cate shook her head. Performing a cricothyrotomy one someone tended to lead to future complication and was a last resort procedure. Cate walked over...gently but forcefully pushing people out of her way and moved to the head of the bed. “Gloves,” she said and was handed a pair of gloves which she, quickly, slipped on. Being stocky, it didn't take much to move the EFTS over. “Stool!” she demanded, softly.

The EFTS kicked the stool out from under the biobed and Cate stepped on it. Being tall gave her an advantage. She bent over the patient's head, lifted the back of his neck and forced his mouth open. “Hold it there,” she instructed to anyone willing and the EFTS followed her instructions. “I need some light,” Cate said and someone trained a penlight beam over her shoulder so she could see into the man's mouth and throat. She stuck her finger down the man's throat and felt around. “Come on,” she muttered. “No one's going to die on my second day,” she said and, suddenly, the tip of her finger felt something spongy. She shoved her finger further into the glove until she felt her nail protrude, then she jammed her nail into the side of the spongy obstruction and moved it towards her until she was able to get the tip of her finger underneath it and start rolling it upward.

“He's in V-Fib!” someone called out.

The obstruction...a piece of meat the size of a large grape...emerged into the man's mouth and Cate grabbed it with two fingers and tossed it over her shoulder as she stepped down from the stool. She walked over to the side of the bed and placed her hand on the wrists of the EFTS performing compressions and said, “jump down.” Once the young man was off of the bed, Cate said, “charge to 300.”

“300,” someone called out.

“Clear,” Cate called out and everyone stepped away from the bed as the nurse operating the defibrillator hit the button and 300 joules of electrical current was sent to the EKG pads the EFTSs had stuck in place on the man's chest in the field. The man's body jumped and a second later, the cardiac monitor beeped as the man's heart rate converted and began beating normally. At that same moment he gasped for the first breath in several minutes.

Just then a doctor came running into the cubicle and said, “give me the bullet,” and everyone stared for a few seconds.

“Nice of you to join us,” Cate said with a chuckle. Looking at the others she smiled and said, “it's all yours kids.” With that she walked out of the cubicle leaving several of the staff looking after her in shock and awe, and left the ER to head to the officers' mess for lunch.


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