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My First STEMI Patient and Learning to Trust Your Gut!

***identifiers altered or removed to protect patent identity/maintain HIPAA compliance***

There are always those cases you’ll have that will stick with you. The ones that challenge you, that remind you how far you’ve come, that open your eyes to something new, unexpected or just plain crazy. At the time of this EKG, I had just been a nurse for 4 months. Although I worked in a trauma center and stroke receiving center, we were not a cardiac or STEMI receiving center.

The note explains most of the story, I’ll write it out for you Millennial's who can’t read those squiggly lines we call cursive...

“Kudos to Cameron Hershey who caught a STEMI with his patient! He realized somthing did not look right on the monitor (the patient was at the ER for a non-cardiac complaint). The doctors were rounding so Cameron took it upon himself to order an EKG & Troponin. He realized that the EKG was abnormal, took it to the attending, and consulted cardiology himself.

The patient ended up going to Cath Lab. Awesome job Cameron!

What a great job! Thank you for all that you do! Keep up the great work you are doing"

To this day, this catch remains one of my favorites, mainly because it was so early in my career and the first time I really felt that my actions directly saved a life.

Aside from having confidence in myself to place those orders, I also had great rapport with my docs, and I knew that they would back my decisions. As an ER nurse, rapport and trust with your practitioners is one of the most important skills you will learn to obtain. Nothing is better than a nurse, a tech and an ER doc all trusting and communicating with one another, and there is no other healthcare team in the hospital setting I would trust more.

Have the confidence in yourself, always follow those gut feelings, and do what you must if it means saving a life!!

**identifiers altered or removed to protect patent identity ***