Chapter 11: what was I thinking?

We had clinic at the big city hospital the other day. I’d say about 75% of our clinical experiences are at this hospital.. it’s the hospital where Jeremy works. It’s always good to see him.

Anyway

I was working in surgical ICU on this particular day. Surgical ICU is a good place for students because there’s a lot of activity. The primary goal is to get people off the ventilator as soon after surgery as possible so there is a lot of ventilator weaning, adjusting settings, drawing ABGs, spontaneous breathing trials, and extubations. Sometimes there’s setting up BiPAP; other times it’s just oxygen for a few hours. Regardless, SICU is a busy place.

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned and a patient has cardiac and/or respiratory failure. They may have to go back on the ventilator for a while. Such was the case with my patient. The patient was alert and oriented and had borderline passed the weaning tests. The MD said “pull the tube. Sometimes we gotta see what they can do”

And so I did.

And things were fine. For about an hour. Then monitors started beeping and a flurry of activity commenced.

Now as a student we are not fully certified in ACLS or PALS, but we are in BLS. So I grabbed the Ambu bag and started ventilating the patient. The RN began chest compressions.. For what seemed like an eternity, but in reality probably less than 30 seconds, it was just the two of us..

Reinforcements arrived quickly and I backed out of the way while more experienced people took over.

I backed myself into a corner; right up against Jeremy. He put his hand on the small of my back— a decidedly intimate gesture. I froze. “What does he mean by this” popped in my head.

The patient was re-intubated and placed back on minimal settings. Everyone disbursed and I headed towards the restroom. Jeremy followed.

“Hey, you did really well in there. You kept really calm in a high pressure situation.”

“I’ve got to pee” I replied as I entered the stairwell.

Jeremy followed. He caught up to me in about three steps. He grabbed my wrist and pulled me close to him, and kissed me squarely on the mouth.

To be fair, I kissed him back

“”what the hell is that about” I blurted after our lips separated.

“Go out with me.”

“Are you insane? I work two jobs. And I’m in school”

“Everybody’s gotta eat at some point. Besides, I can help you study.”

Not really knowing how to extricate myself from this situation, I agreed.

What the hell was i thinking. Dating should be the last thing on my mind, and besides if I were going to date anyone, it would be Chris. Shy, sweet Chris. But alas, I find myself agreeing to a date with Jeremy after he kissed me in the stairwell. Why couldn’t Chris have been the one to kiss me in the stairwell?

I fear this might get complicated.

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