Thursday, October 16, 2008
"Adult code blue to the emergency room..."
As a nurse, these words are all to familiar. I hear them day in and day out, sometimes even more than once a day. Although I don't work on the emergency unit, the statement is made over the intercom for health care workers to hear. It never bothered me, to me it was normal - part of the job - I often pay no attention to it, other times I get this rush of adrenalin and almost a sense of excitement and I'm ashamed to say that sometimes the thought of "oh, how cool, I wish that was my patient" crosses my mind. I'm not a harsh person, I love my patients and I care about them, I also get very attached to them, but there's just something about a coding patient that brings the super hero in you out. It's the pull your hair up in a ponytail (even though mines in hijaab), roll your sleeves up and get to work kind of adrenaline rush. Its amazing (and I know right now I sound like the most insensitive person ever) it just feels good to have the ability to save a person's life. But then it hit me today as the code was on my floor. Alhamdulilah my patients were just fine. My friend's patient coded and while I saw the excitement in her eyes, I also saw the fear in her eyes - the fear that she would lose her patient.
Then it dawned on me - the angel of death could be in this hospital right now, in this patients room, less than a couple of feet away from me. The thought sent chills down my back. All this time as I walk on to this unit, I walk on like I'm Wonder Woman, ready to conquer any situation that comes my way and suddenly I was humbled. Sometimes even the toughest of medical measures and chest compressions and "heroic events" as they call it here at the hospital is no match for Allah (SWT) when he calls, the soul goes - Time of death 0945.
Death visits this hospital every day. After today, I've begun to wonder if the angel of death is in my patient's room when I come in to do my vitals or go in to give them their lunch or while I'm sitting in the break room taking care of my charting - the thought gives me goosebumps. It's almost like the feeling I get as I drive by grave yards - how quiet and peaceful it looks on the outside, serene, almost like a dream, but only Allah (SWT) knows the horror and the dread the person in the grave is going through as he is inflicted with azhab al-qabr. May Allah (SWT) protect us all (ameen).