I had had too many good days, and my confidence was too high. Last night, with not much reason for it, I felt incompetent. I guess it might have had something to do with the code.
An older man recovering from an aortic dissection repair suddenly became bradycardic, and then went into asystole. The code was called. It lasted a half hour before they called it. Then the nurse came out, looked right at one of us who was standing there, burst into tears and said "it's all my fault". Then she ran off.
I felt like crying, too. That could've been me. That can be me anytime. I wanted to go check on my patients, assure myself that they were alive.
My report to the night shift was disorganized and incomplete. It made me feel like a failure, incompetent, a poser. And deep down, it was the code and the tears, and the knowledge that when or if it is me, I would have nothing to offer, and no way to help.