Pediatric Codes: What Nurses Need to Know

Keeping Your Cool in a Crisis

Another issue affecting pediatric codes is their propensity for eliciting an anxiety or stress response in medical personnel. You may experience quite a bit of fear — fear of not knowing what to do, fear of failure to resuscitate the patient, fear of not knowing how to use the available equipment correctly. This can contribute to breakdowns in staff communication, and errors or delays in life-saving interventions.

Mock Pediatric Code Simulation

Simulations of pediatric codes and related crises have demonstrated a tendency toward significant delays in ABC administration, which can be very detrimental to the patient’s outcome.

It’s essential that medical personnel act quickly in the case of a pediatric code. Things like CPR, administering oxygen, and defibrillation need to be done immediately, and delays could be devastating for the patient.

There are a number of certifications available for nurses and other healthcare professionals who work with pediatric patients. These include CPR, basic life support (BLS), pediatric advanced life support (PALS), and the neonatal resuscitation program (NRP). These programs require you to recertify every two years, but in the meantime, it’s very possible that you might not retain all of the necessary information within a few months of taking the classes.

One potential solution is mock code simulation, where healthcare staff go through the process of addressing a pediatric code. This can help reduce anxiety among staff members with minimal experience addressing CPA and other crisis situations, as well as helping nurses and physicians improve their communication with one another. They can also help reduce medication errors, which are a risk with pediatric patients.

When It Comes to Pediatric Codes, A Fast Response is Essential

Pediatric patients can sustain permanent, disabling brain damage after a cardiopulmonary arrest, and time is of the essence. It’s incredibly important for nurses and other medical professionals to respond quickly when it occurs, to minimize neuronal damage.

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