If you are an ER nurse, few things are more gratifying than giving TPA to an active stroke patient. One minute they’re aphasic – the next minute they’re not. Today I had the pleasure of taking care of an active stroke patient and seeing the therapeutic effects of this medication in real time – very gratifying.
The thing with strokes is: every minute they don’t get TPA (assuming it’s appropriate), the patient is potentially losing brain cells that they will never get back. So the whole function of the ER nurse in this situation is to give the medication (once ordered) ASAP.
I try very hard to be as aggressively fast as possible with this – in my previous job I worked with stroke patients exclusively. The damage they incur ripples out not just through the rest of their lives, but also through the lives of everyone who knew and cared for them.
So it was a good day in the ER.