Rapid Response RN

Rapid Response RN

A show for Nurses who want the knowledge, skills, and confidence to respond to any emergency.

All Episodes

46: Hyperkalemia Cardiac Arrest Part 1

What causes hyperkalemia, what are the signs and symptoms, and why is it such a big deal?
March 21, 2023
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45: Q&A: “How Can I Become a Rapid Response Nurse?”

Thinking about switching specialties and trying something new? In this episode, Sarah breaks down what she has learned about some of the different Nursing specialties and what the best path is towards becoming a Rapid Response Nurse.
March 10, 2023
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44: “Heart Attack” or Anxiety?

When your patient says they have chest pain, what is your role as a Nurse?
March 3, 2023
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43: Eisenmenger Syndrome With Guest Nick McGowan RN

On this episode, Nick shares about a patient with the highest pulmonary artery pressure he and Sarah have ever seen. Learn about Eisenmenger Syndrome, what assessment findings to anticipate, the pathophysiology behind this diagnosis, and how to treat it.
February 24, 2023
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42: Dry As a Bone: Acute Kidney Injury

AKI is a common diagnosis for hospitalized patients. In this episode Sarah shares about a patient who developed and AKI from sepsis and breaks down the differences in pre-renal, intra-renal, and post-renal acute kidney injury and how to treat it.
February 17, 2023
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41: Let’s Make Priapism Not So Hard… With Guest Walker, Rapid Response RN

Why is priapism a medical emergency? Learn all about the pathophysiology of this diagnosis and how to treat it through these two case studies that Sarah and Walker share on this episode.
February 10, 2023
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40:Why Rapid Response Nursing? Interview With The Nurse Keith Show

Get to know Sarah a little better as she is interviewed by the Nurse Keith Podcast.
February 5, 2023
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39: Critical Limb Ischemia

At what point does peripheral artery disease become critical limb ischemia (also known as "acute limb ischemia")? What symptoms and assessment findings should you be concerned about? What are the treatment options for patients who lose blood flow to their extremities?
January 27, 2023
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38:Q&A: How to Effectively and Professionally Advocate For Your Patient… Even When the Provider is Intimidating

It's a topic that they don't really cover in Nursing school... but the ability to effectively advocate for your patient could save your patient's life! In this episode, Sarah discusses some strategies, techniques, and mindsets that she has used to help her be a strong patient advocate.
January 20, 2023
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37: Hypercalcemia Cardiac Arrest with guest Kisha RN

The severity of symptoms of hypercalcemia depend greatly on so many factors. Some patients are asymptomatic, while others have gone into cardiac arrest. On this episode we breakdown causes of hypercalcemia, the range of symptoms, and expected treatment as well as unpacking a crazy story of a patient who came in asymptomatic that ended up going into cardiac arrest.
January 13, 2023
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36: Commotio Cordis: Responding to Sports Related Cardiac Events With Guest Dr. Jeremy Alland, Team Physician for the Chicago Bulls

Would you be prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency outside of the hospital? On today’s episode, rapid response nurse and our host, Sarah Lorenzini, has invited guest Dr. Jeremy Alland, the official physician for the Chicago Bulls basketball team, to help us unravel what happened to Damar Hamlin on the football field, and how we can better prepare ourselves for cardiac events as medical professionals in non-medical settings.
January 6, 2023
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35: Cardiac Syncope…(DO NOT AMBULATE!)

The most concerning type of syncope! When a patient suddenly passes out from either an arrhythmia or a structural abnormality of the heart... this needs to be investigated and treated... next time they might not wake up from it! If you love learning from other people's mistakes, you will love this episode of when I didn't realize my patient was in V-tach and walked him back to his room! We discuss all of the reasons the heart might cause you to pass out and a little about the challenges of being an ER Triage Nurse in this final episode of the year and the last episode in a 4 part series on syncope. So make sure you also check out episode #32, #33, and #34 to learn seizure vs syncope, reflex syncope, and orthostatic syncope.
December 27, 2022
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34: Orthostatic Syncope

This episode covers the two types of orthostatic syncope:Neurally mediated orthostatic syncope (from conditions with autonomic dysfunction)and"non-neurally mediated" orthostatic syncope which is from medications or hypovolemia.We discuss the diagnostic value and dangers of orthostatic vital signs and how to determine what type of orthostatic syncope your patient has had.This is part 3 of a 4 part series on syncope so make sure you check out episode #32 and #33. If you would like to check out the 1hr, 1 CE course, go to:www.rapidresponseandrescue.comyou can use coupon code: PODCAST22To get $22 off the cost of the course now until the end of 2022
December 19, 2022
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33: Vasovagal Syncope with guest Annie Fulton

Part 2 of a 4 part series on  syncope.Syncope is one of the top reasons why a rapid response is called... but the question is, what precipitated the syncope?In this episode we discuss a classic case of vasovagal syncope, in which Annie's patient had a six second pause on his ECG in response to some overwhelming news.  We break down why atropine might not be the best intervention for this patient and some of the treatment options for bradycardia. 
December 6, 2022
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32: Syncope vs Seizure?

This episode is Part 1 in a 4 part series on syncope.Syncope and seizure can both present with unresponsiveness.  It can be difficult to differentiate between the two very different causes for an unresponsive episode.  Fortunately, there are some things to look for to help rule out seizure or confirm that it is the culprit... and they probably aren't the ones you thought you knew.
November 26, 2022
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31: Cardiac Tamponade with Guest Brian McCain

If you are a cardiac nurse, this is your nightmare case!  Cardiac Tamponade is a surgical emergency that requires you know more than ACLS to save this patient.  The signs and symptoms are subtle and takes an astute clinician to figure it out.In this episode we discuss all the classic textbook assessment findings from Beck's Triad to pulsus paradoxus as well as some of the more subtle clues of declining cardiac output. We talk through when you need a pericardiocentesis and when it's time to crack the chest and perform an open arrest.And who better to discuss this case than the person who taught me about cardiac tamponade, my boss and former Cardiac ICU Nurse; Brian McCain.If you want to be prepared for the absolute worst case scenario for your post cardiac surgery patient, than you're gonna want to take notes on this one.
November 11, 2022
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30: Life Threatening Small Bowel Obstruction

This patient was so backed up, his abdomen looked like he was 9 months pregnant!  It was so bad that he was tachycardic and hypotensive.  In this episode we talk about common post-surgical complications from constipation, to an ileus, to a small bowel obstruction.  We break down diagnostics, pharmacological interventions, and surgical options.Ever given neostigmine?  Then you are gonna want to hear this episode.Ever heard of Ogilvie's syndrome... if you care for post-surgical patients this is another one you want to be familiar with.Do you want to listen to an entire episode about poop... than you will love this episode!It's amazing how inability to poop can cause such severe and even life threatening complications!
October 30, 2022
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29: Managing Pre-Shift Anxiety As a Nurse

Nursing pre-shift anxiety is a thing!  Many of us stress ourselves out so much leading up to our shift that we don't sleep or eat well or we feel overwhelmed by the thought of another 12 hour shift and we haven't even stepped foot in the hospital yet.  But there is hope...This episode does not have any hacks for erasing pre-shift anxiety... but rather how to face it.Sarah discusses the 3 things that she has done to work through the  anxiety associated with being a Nurse.So, if you find yourself dreading your shifts, losing sleep over worry about work, or overly consumed with what could happen, you might want to give this episode a listen.
October 15, 2022
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28: Another Metabolic Acidosis With Christian Guzman APRN

Do you want to grasp ABGs more?  Arterial Blood Gases are tricky! It's one thing to memorize the normal ranges for each value, but an astute clinician is able to see the combination of abnormal values and determine what led to this derangement and what to do about it.In this episode, guest Christian Guzman, Critical Care APRN shares an interesting case of...SPOILER ALERT: Necrotizing FasciitisThe patient's presentation was concerning but not very clear what was going on initially.  But the Nurse's intuition which led to an ABG helped guide the team towards a diagnosis, prompted Christian to upgrade the patient to the ICU, and ultimately led to the patient making a full recovery.If you love nerding out with a deep dive into pathophysiology, then you will love this episode.
September 30, 2022
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27: Time is Brain: The Why Behind the Hustle With Stroke

This episode is jam packed with everything you need to know for your next stroke alert!I was interviewed by Annie Fulton from the Up My Nursing Game Podcast and we got to talk about all things stroke from differentiating between ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke to the life saving interventions of tPA, thrombectomy, ventriculostomies, and the pharmacological interventions for stroke.  We discuss the role of the Rapid Response Nurse and the bedside Nurse during a stroke alert. What to assess for first, what information the stroke team is going to need, what are the priorities, and why all the hustle to get to CT?! If you want to be prepared, not only to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke, but also anticipate what is next in this patient's course of care from diagnostics to interventions and recovery, this episode is for you! You can listen to more of Annie's podcasts at and on Apple Podcasts at can also find Annie on Instagram @UpMyNursingGame If you would like to check out my course, you can find it
September 20, 2022
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26: Q&A How do you achieve work life balance as a nurse?

Is work life balance even possible as a nurse?I would say yes... absolutely!  But it takes some effort and intentionality.  As a full time nurse, wife, mother of 5, and podcast host, I get to do a lot of juggling.In this episode, I share 2 nuggets of wisdom that have helped me achieve work/life balance.  Find me on Instagram @TheRapidResponseRNFacebook: Rapid Response RN PodcastOnline Course:    
September 6, 2022
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25: When It’s Not Black and White: Discussing Legal and Ethical Challenges in Nursing with Patient Safety and Quality Director Rebecca

What about when the patient refuses care that they consented to just yesterday?What about when the family disagrees about the patient's wishes?What all am I supposed to document when something goes wrong?What is my role as a Nurse in discussing end of life goals of care with the family? These are questions that I get all the time in my inbox and so I invited someone who has to daily navigate these difficult legal and ethical challenges in healthcare.
August 17, 2022
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BONUS EPISODE: What is Rapid Response Nursing?… Interview with the Cup of Nurses Podcast

I was interviewed on the Cup of Nurses Podcast and wanted to share the episode with my listeners as well. We talk about a ton of topics from what it takes to be a Response Nurse, what do Rapid Response Nurses do all day, some tips and tricks for your next rapid response, and how to mitigate that stress response in yourself when emergencies arise at the bedside. Here is the link to the youtube video if you prefer to watch the interview: Check out more content from the Cup of Nurses in the show notes
August 11, 2022
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24: The Surprising Etiology of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy

Ever heard of "broken heart syndrome"?... it's a real thing. It's also called Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy or stress induced cardiomyopathy. In this episode we discuss a case of a patient who developed this unexpectedly, came very close to death, but made a full recovery. We break down the cause, presentation, and pathophysiology of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy as well as treatment and prognosis.
July 30, 2022
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23: Q&A: What Nursing Specialty Should I Go Into?

How do you know where you would enjoy working and where you would thrive as a nurse? Well, having worked both ED and ICU and having spent a fair amount of time on the Med-Surg units, I have a lot of observations and perspectives to share. In this episode we talk about what makes each specialty great, what makes it challenging, and what types of nurses do well in each environment. If you are just starting out or been at it a while and are considering making a change, this episode is for you!
July 4, 2022
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22: A-fib RVR With Guest Dr. G the NP

Lets talk through the pathophysiology of Atrial Fibrillation, why it's a problem, and how to treat it. Guest Dr. G the NP, a Cardiology Nurse Practitioner helps drop some knowledge about this very common arrhythmia
June 18, 2022
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21: Q&A: “What Can I Do in a Code Blue Without Getting in the Way?”

Ever wondered what you can do in a code? You are not alone! The most common question I receive regarding emergencies is, "What can I do to be helpful in a code blue situation? I don't want to get in the way". Well, there are a lot of important roles you can take on. In this episode we break down all the roles available and what is expected from each one.
June 11, 2022
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20: COVID Conversations and Our Path Forward As Nurses: With Guests COVID RNs, Andi, Clayton, and Danielle

A conversation with COVID ICU, PCU, and Med/Surg Nurses about their experiences during the pandemic. We discuss some of our memories from this challenging season, the lessons we have learned, and how it has changed us as nurses.
April 24, 2022
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19: Don’t Mess Around With Anaphylaxis

Two very different presentations of anaphylaxis help provide an introduction to how to make the diagnosis of anaphylaxis, what to expect from the clinical presentation and evolution towards shock, the pathophysiology of anaphylaxis, and how to treat it.
April 12, 2022
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18: It’s Not About the Glucose… Talking Through Diabetic Ketoacidosis With Guest Christian Guzman Critical Care APRN

DKA is so complicated... especially when the patient presents with a normal blood glucose! This case really sets the stage for explaining all of the dangerous aspects of DKA and the multifactorial approach to treating it. Christian and Sarah discuss the pathophysiology... down to the cellular level... of what's happening when patients go into DKA, some of the tests used to diagnose DKA like ABGs, and the delicate balance of fluid status and electrolytes that must be maintained when correcting this metabolic acidosis.
March 23, 2022
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17: This Seems Worse Than Pancreatitis! With Guests Katleen and Marissa

What started as pancreatitis, turned into massive transfusion protocol and a visit to interventional radiology. In this episode, Sarah, Katleen, and Marissa discuss a case that took an unexpected turn for the worse. They break down the pathophysiology of pancreatitis, it's treatment, and the nurse's role in the patient's recovery.
March 11, 2022
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16: “Be still my beating heart”: Supraventricular Tachycardia

Supraventricular tachycardia can present very stable, but this patient rapidly declined. In this episode we explain what exactly is happening with SVT, and go through all the different treatment modalities from vagal maneuvers, to medications, to synchronized cardioversion.
February 21, 2022
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15: A Ticking Time Bomb: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm With Guests Ashley and Corey, Rapid Response RNs

Surprising case that initially sounded like septic shock, but upon further investigation, the patient had a huge abdominal aortic aneurysm that was dissecting. Learn about the clinical presentation, emergent interventions, and the nurse's role in saving this patient's life.
January 25, 2022
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14: “Must’a been a PE”: Another Unexpected Cardiac Arrest from a Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary Embolisms can pop up out of nowhere. This episode breaks down the pathophysiology of PE and what interventions are needed to stop the PE spiral of death.
January 15, 2022
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13: Air Don’t Go There!: Air Embolism to the Brain With Guest Marissa RN

Air embolism to the brain is one of those rare complications of having vascular access. But just like your professor warned you, if you don't pull out the central line properly, you could cause an air embolus!!! Joining me for this episode is Rapid Response Nurse Marissa sharing her experience responding to a patient with altered mental status who had a large cerebral embolus.
November 23, 2021
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12: Baby Mommas and COVID

Young healthy momma gets COVID and becomes critically ill 3 days after her baby is born. But after weeks on the ventilator, she recovers and is re-united with her baby. This podcast breaks down the disease progression of COVID and oxygen delivery modalities at each level. It draws back the curtain to see a glimpse of what COVID nurses have been facing for almost 2 years, and reminds all healthcare workers of the reason we keep fighting for these patients... to see them recover!
October 26, 2021
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11: Funkycardia: Discovering Tachy Brady Syndrome With Guest Kat Jones RN

Great story of a classic presentation of Tachy Brady Syndrome that highlights the important role the bedside nurse plays in monitoring and intervening on the patient's behalf.
July 21, 2021
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10: Nursing Student to the Rescue: Neurological Emergency with Cushing’s Triad

My first encounter with a true emergency as a nursing student taught me so much about increased intracranial pressure and the valuable role the nurse plays in detecting changes in the patient. In this episode we discuss the signs and symptoms of increased intracranial pressure, including Cushing's triad.
June 12, 2021
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9: Birthing babies in valet parking with guest, Ronnie Jo CNM

What would you do if you found yourself on the catching end of a birth? In this episode we will discuss what to do if you must deliver a baby with minimal resources outside of the birthing room. Interview with Ronnie Jo, Certified Nurse Midwife to share her passion and expertise in birthing babies.
March 14, 2021
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8: Number 1 Killer: Sepsis with guest Yesha RN

Interview with Yesha about a patient we cared for together and how she recognized that fluid boluses were not going to be enough to turn her septic patient around. Then we break down the pathophysiology of sepsis, ways to identify the signs and symptoms of septic shock, and the treatment of sepsis.
February 1, 2021
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7: COPD and BBQ (Part 2)

In part 2 we breakdown the pathophysiology of COPD, the different oxygen delivery methods, and the nurse's role in caring for patients with COPD exacerbations.
January 15, 2021
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6: COPD and BBQ: Tips for effective patient advocacy (Part 1)

Part 1 of a two part episode about how I simultaneously embarrassed myself and effectively advocated for the patient.
January 15, 2021
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5: “Just a spoonful of sugar” helps your patient’s prolapsed rectum go down.

A career first... pouring sugar on my patient's rectum... all in a day's work!
December 9, 2020
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4: Keeping your cool when your patient is crashing

A brief summary of this episode
November 15, 2020
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3: “Patient resting comfortably” with hypercapnia

This patient had the trifecta of factors that can cause hypercapnia and the nurse recognized his somnolence as more than him just being due for a nap.
November 8, 2020
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2: “Call the plumber!”: STEMI with atypical presentation

On this episode, the patient was having a huge myocardial infarction but downplayed her symptoms as "just anxiety." But the primary RN followed her intuition, advocated for her patient, and saved her life!
October 27, 2020
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1: “Go with your gut”: Gastrointestinal Perforation

My very first rapid response call ever as a rapid response nurse. This patient developed the classic signs and symptoms of peritonitis and turned the corner rather quickly toward septic shock.
October 27, 2020
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Who is Sarah and what is this podcast all about?

Just a quick introduction to who the host of the Rapid Response RN Podcast is and why she wanted to do a podcast for nurses.
October 15, 2020
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About Rapid Response RN

Do you want to go from dreading emergencies to feeling confident and ready to jump into action to rescue your patient?

Well, this show will let you see emergencies unfold through the eyes of a Rapid Response Nurse. With real life stories from the frontlines of nursing, host Sarah Lorenzini MSN, RN, CCRN, CEN, a Rapid Response Nurse and educator, shares her experiences at rapid response events and breaks down the pathophysiology, pharmacology, and the important role the nurse plays during emergencies.

If you want to sharpen your assessment skills and learn how to think like a Rapid Response Nurse, then Sarah is here to share stories, tips, tricks, and mindsets that will prepare you to approach any emergency.

Every episode is packed full of exactly what you need to know to handle whatever crisis that could arise on your shift. It’s one thing to get the right answer on the test, but knowing how to detect when YOUR patient is declining and what to do when YOUR patient is crashing is what will make or break your day… and might just save your patient’s life.


Sarah Lorenzini, MSN-ED, RN, CCRN, CEN

Sarah Lorenzini, MSN-ED, RN, CCRN, CEN

Sarah Lorenzini, MSN-ED, RN, CCRN, CEN, is a highly accredited Rapid Response Nurse and host of the Rapid Response RN Podcast. She loves being a nurse and empowering other nurses with the knowledge and confidence to respond to any emergency.

Throughout her extensive nursing career, Sarah's learned not only how to manage a crashing patient, but also how to break down difficult concepts and guide nurses with tips and tricks for managing emergencies.

Sarah uses stories from her almost 20-year career as an ER and Critical Care Nurse to teach critical thinking and to inspire nurses to speak up and advocate with confidence for their patients.

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