Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Truisms of emergency care

A friend who's an ER nurse sent this to me some time ago, and in keeping with Nurses' Week last week, thought I'd post this. Think it's hilarious, though I pray I never have to use the ER myself after reading this!
  • Don't tell me you have abdominal pain as you eat Doritos in my triage booth.
  • If you come to the ER by ambulance, the first thing I will ask you is how you are getting home. No, we don't have people on staff to drive you home, and don't tell me you don't want to "bother" one of your family members at this hour. You had no problem bothering 911 for the back pain you've had for 3 months.
  • You don't get to pick your own IV site. This will irritate me and I will probably miss your IV on purpose and start your site in the place I wanted to initially to prove a point.
  • Nausea is not a reason to come to the ER. If you are not in severe pain, are not vomiting or pooping your pants in front of me, your butt goes back to the waiting room.
  • How can you have the worst migraine of your life, but be able to yell at me about the wait after you just put down a magazine you were reading?
  • Don't ever say things like, "I usually get 4 mg of Dilaudid." Requesting a narcotic and dosage will prompt me to squirt out half of the med before I inject, then I lie about the dose.
  • If you are allergic to Tylenol, Toradol, and Motrin, I have already assumed you are a drug seeker.
  • If you came to the ER having a family doctor appointment that same day, I will make sure you are still in the department well past the time of your original appointment.
  • I don't care if you are neighbors with the GI specialist. Unless he drove you to the ER himself, you can't be that friendly.
  • Just because, "my doctor sent me here", does not mean you get right back to a treatment room. This tells me you are a pain in the ass, and he's pawning you off.
  • The louder you moan/whine, the bigger size IV needle you get.
  • Foley catheters cure pseudo-seizures. They also cure intoxicated persons.
  • If you are on more than 2 medicines at home, bring a list. Don't say, "You know, the little white pill." I am not a pharmacist.
  • RN is not synonymous with waiter/waitress.
  • Don't bitch about missing breakfast when I'm on the ninth hour of my shift and haven't peed yet.
  • What gives you the right to complain about your sore throat for a week while I have diarrhea from the antibiotics I've been taking for pneumonia?
  • Broken toes are not an emergency. We'll make you feel stupid by putting a little piece of tape down there and kicking you out.
  • If you tell me you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, know that I'm rolling my eyes and thinking you're a loser.
  • If you list Haldol, geodon, Xanax, and trazadone as allergies, don't tell me you have no psych history.
  • Never sign in with chest pain because you were too embarrassed to write "penile sores" or "foul smelling discharge". This will piss me off that I bumped you ahead of other people and I'll make your visit horrific.
  • Although you've been in the ER four times this week, you cannot list the ER doc as your family physician.
  • Do not talk to me while I'm trying to listen to your lungs.
  • Don't tell me you have no money for medicine while you have a carton of cigarettes in your purse (next to your cell phone), and each of your seven children are playing their own PSP's.
  • Gravida 7 at age 22 means you are a slut.

Happy (belated) Nurses' Week.


Blogger PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

Hello... an old friend here. So happy to find old friend's blog.. Haha.

10:14 PM  
Blogger PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

Yes... during secondary school. It's aigie here.

10:54 PM  
Blogger midnite lily said...

hilarious. heheh...

11:05 AM  
Blogger spinosum said...

Thats really an awesome description of a day's life in the ER! ;) Thanks for cheering me up!

7:29 AM  
Blogger Nat said...

My my, aren't we grumpy! Hurhurhur

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last week the news was talking about how one lady was left to die in an ER.

I wonder if that had anything to do with calloused, overworked nurses? You know - the kinds that was sure her complaints wasnt truly an emergency and kicked her back to the waiting room. I mean - she was neither puking or pooping all over herself.

I can understand that busy ER nurses need to keep their sanity through what I am sure is a lot of insanity. The balance goes when it is also necessary for the same ER nurses to retain their humanity, and I tend to think that any ER nurse who could recognize too many of those points above might need career change.

Dehumanizing humans is never really ok. Truly - its not - yet its such a common malady.


5:20 PM  
Blogger vagus said...

while i agree that dehumanizing humans is not ok, i disagree with your statement "any ER nurse who could recognize too many of those points above might need career change."
one very human trait is humor. i'm certain you've made work-related jokes before, and they're just that. jokes, and i'm sure they're not mean to disrespect anyone.
but thanks for your views. not sure about the death in the ER; didn't see it on the news, but until it's investigated, it's so easy to make assumptions and lay blame.

5:29 PM  

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