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The Mega Code Bootcamp Experience

Fifth semester BYU Nursing students at Mega Code Bootcamp

Last month, the fifth-semester Intensive Care Unit (ICU) students started a new Mega Code Bootcamp. They spent 4 hours in the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center (NLC) where they responded to emergency scenarios.

Students rotated through four patient rooms with high-fidelity mannequins to care for their patients who were experiencing a stroke, a heart attack, a variety of life-threatening arrhythmias, and complete cardiac and respiratory arrest.

The Mega Code proves to be a beneficial tool for those in the medical profession, providing a practical experience for performing advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) procedures. It creates a chance to collaborate within a simulated cardiac arrest setting, fostering teamwork and skill development.

Mega Code Bootcamp was designed based on student feedback. Students shared that they experienced a sense of empowerment while acquiring the knowledge to handle critical clinical scenarios. Furthermore, they communicated to the faculty that practical, hands-on training improved their readiness for engaging in life-threatening emergencies in the hospital's emergency department and ICU during their clinical rotations.

“I went away knowing how to respond to a code and what symptoms to monitor for that may lead to a patient coding”, said Sarah Owens, one of the fifth semester students that participated. “More than anything it made me eager to get in the field and work in emergency med!”

Adrianna Watson, an Assistant Teaching Professor in the College of Nursing, offers the following tips of how a nursing student in any semester can help prepare for the arrival of the code team in the hospital:

  • Bring the crash cart
  • Connect ECG leads
  • Lower the patient’s head of bed until flat
  • Remove pillow from under patient’s head
  • Place backboard for CPR
  • Move the bed away from the wall
  • Remove the headboard to prepare for intubation
  • Record code details (time, meds, defibrillation)
  • Verify IV access
  • Draw labs and check blood glucose
  • Check for and go get needed supplies
  • Provide family and visitor support

“Doing the mega codes simulation [was] very helpful because it made me feel prepared for the ICU class and clinical days this semester,” said Maya Stephenson, another fifth semester student. “And it was great being able to ask questions about code situations to experienced nurses.”