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If an ER is to run effectively, everyone or at least the majority needs to be on the same page.
That is usually seen when a critical patient enters, and everyone knows their role, and more importantly, people know where they can get their hands on certain equipment quickly.
Whatever personal problems maybe occurring, forget about them once you walk into the ER. Let us focus.
It is time to get to work!
Actually saw a young female in her 20s last night who came in with the complaint of right sided neck pain, lasting about 1 min. She realized she had the pain after waking up from sleep. No pain at present.
It was 3am……did she really leave her kids and husband at home to come to the ER with this……she got a prescription for pain meds and was sent home.
Started off the shift, took handovers from the previous doctors…….then we realized that two docs on our shift had called in sick……not a good sign.
Then we realized that the critical bay was looking like a scene out of a zombie movie…..patients were falling over each other.
Patients were piling up at triage. Someone was even looking for their teenage son who apparently had wandered off…….he was just outside smoking when we discovered him.
One of my colleague’s drunk patients actually got off his bed and ran screaming through the ER……he ran after the patient and I ran after him to help……..we reached the patient, stabilized him, looked over to each other and just said…….I think we have just lost control of the ER…….
Ever so often you get those patients who always come to the ER for a check-up. It does not matter how many times you explain to them that the ER does not function as an out patient clinic…..they still come back.
I have a male patient who actually comes to the ER to ‘talk’…..usually when he is stressed out. And considering he has two jobs, presently studying, has a kid already and another on the way…..he comes to ‘talk’ once a week. The good thing is he somehow knows when the ER is not busy and that is when he will show up. I listen because I know somehow it helps this patient. And even though I have referred him several times for counseling, he always comes back.
But then we have the really bad COPD smokers who come every week due to problems with their breathing……and my listening to my ‘stop smoking’ advice…….they really try my patience…..
But I am baaaacccckkkkkk………..
Sometimes the ER gets ridiculously rough. The days and nights start to get blurred. I almost forget that I have a life to live past the ER.
It is really important to do other things besides work……or so I keep telling myself. I just have to start practicing that.
To cheer myself up I actually went on a vacay……worked for me very well.
Now……at almost midnight, and I am going back to work. Vacay over.
I had to treat a young lady in her early twenties last night. She was apparently caught cheating by her live in partner.
She left home earlier in the day to go to a concert with her ‘outside guy’ and somehow got caught by her ‘current guy’. They fled the scene in their car and hey boyfriend actually chased them in his.
Eventually they crashed after he hit their car from behind, she jumped out of the vehicle and took off on foot. Her ex jumped out of his car and ran behind her……and of course he caught up to her. It led to an assault charge being placed against him.
She came into the ER hysterical and, also extremely drunk. She told me that she had a restraining order put against him which he constantly violated.
I had to get someone from social work involved because while all of this excitement was going on they had left the 3 year old at home, by herself for over 10 or more hours…….that alone is madness.
I had to take care of a drunk patient today. He fell after a heavy drinking session and he lost conciousness. His two sons came with him and they looked so concerned. They told me that they had tried everything to get their father to stop drinking but he was able to circumvent their every attempt.
It seemed like a really sad story.
So I turned to the man and I asked him, ‘Why do you drink so much especially when you have such a supportive family’
He looked at me and said, ‘Sleepydoc, I find that drinking changes the mindset. Even if I have had an awful day everything pales and gets better when I drink. But I never drink around my kids doc.’