Friday, May 28, 2010

How to get told to F%$k off 3 times in 10 minutes or less and still feel so appreciated

Case #1
Patient: "I need a note to excuse me from community service"
Me: Why?
Patient: "Because they want me to work out side and I sunburn easy"
Me: "Sorry we do not write notes to excuse people from community service, you need to go to your primary care doctor or walk in clinic"
Patient: "That is BullS*!t, F%^k you"

Case #2
Patient: After walking in "How long is the wait?"
Me: "It depends on your acuity level, we will triage you and see what is going on"
Patient: "I have had this mole for a year now and I think it might be cancer, you need to take me right back before I die"
Me: "Ma"am, you are not going to die right now because of that mole, we will get you back as soon as possible, but with the increase in patients, we must take back those who need immediate medaicl intervention right now" (as my tech was wheeling back a patient with pulse ox of 78%)"
Patient: "You insenative B!@#h, F%$k off!"

Patients family member: "I need in to room 2"
Me: "I can let you back, but you can't take food back, I can hold it up here for you"
Patient family member: "But it for the patient"
Me: "Sorry, but you father can't eat right now, he is getting ready for surgery, after surgery he can eat and we will provide him a heart health tray because the hospital don't allow outside food"
Patients family member: "this place is insane! everyone else would let me take it back, you are just being a snobby c@#t, go F#$k yourself" She then threw her Wendy's bag across the counter with one of the containers of chili exploding all over me. She was escorted out and I enjoyed the other bowl of chili:)

What really touched me was when a 98 year old man came up to me with some flowers from the gift shop. I asked him which room he would like. He said no, I do not need to get back there. I made a wrong turn a while ago when I went up to visit a friend and it seemed like you were having a bad day, so on my way done I thought a few petals would brighten it up. I almost teared up, it really was not a bad day, just a few patients behaving badly. I tried to explain that sometimes people just get upset due to the stress of being sick or hurt. He just nodded his head and told me that I was someones wife, mother, sister, and daughter and that no one should ever treat another that way. He gave me the flowers and thanked me for being a nurse. After he left I had to take a break, this little old man's sweetness made me tear up. It is not often that people see us that work in the ER as humans with feelings.

What to do????

I have a chance to change jobs and I really do not know what to do. I am scared and excited all at once and I feel like I am going to pop out of my skin. I was offered a flight nurse position with better benefits, less work, and more money. In order to attain the position I have a medical test with drip rates, ekg's, and 5 mega codes. On the other hand, I am loyal to my ER, I have been there since 2003 and have a love hate relationship with the typical er stuff we see. I know grass is not greener on the other side, but do I pass up this opportunity and stay because it is what I know? Or do I take a leap and go flying around? I love my er, but I also love helicopters and and I can nurse in both! So there is my choices just don't know what to do.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To the back of the rack you go!!!!

Top 3 ways of the day to get your chart moved to the back of the rack.

1. Come in to the ER reporting that you missed your appointment at the methadone clinic and need it now. Then make an butt out of your self because the doctor has not come into the room after you being there for 4 minutes. After all you are dying!!! They other guy is already dead on the other side of the curtain, which is why according to you we are wasting our time doing compressions when you are alive and need your methadone. Oh and by the way, telling us you missed your appointment because they made it too late and you needed to score prior going to your appointment, will not gain any sympathy!

2. Check into the er for dental pain and once you get to your room you demand (not request) that we fax a letter to the court stating that you are in the er and can't make it to court. All of this after your call your nurse a B@%!#h. Guess what, after obtaining you court time, I will personally insure that you are discharged 10 minutes prior to you court time, which is 5 hours from now, and will fax the letter to the court stating what you requested. It will go something like this, "Dear sir/ Ma'am, Mrs. Crack head was in so and so ER from this time to this time." Seeing that the court house is across the street, you will have ample time to attend your hearing and be detained as your lawyer has told will happen.

3. Check into the er with complaint of cramping and abdominal pain at 10 weeks pregnant. After we find out you are not pregnant and you tell your nurse that you really just wanted a preg test and that your best friend told you to lie to get back faster.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Bucket

After working in the emergency department for as long as I have, you think I would know what questions not to ask. However, I am a curious person and can;t resist asking the unaskable. For example, I have learned not to ask what is is your pocket, what is under your coat, what position where you in, and so on. You think that I would no better to ask what is in the bucket??? Nope, not I. I just have to know! Well a client came in with fracture arm after falling at the creek. He came in in swim shorts and muck boots.... that should have been my first clue. His attire included a 5 gallon bucket with the lid on tight that had small pin holes in top... That should have been my second clue, but no. My curiosity and the egging on from less bold co-workers lead me to ask the loaded question! What's in the bucket???? My first thought that it was bait, but when I picked up the bucket to move it it was heavy and no swishing of fluid. so I really had no clue and had developed increasing curiosity by the minute. The patient told me to go ahead and open it. Nope I have learned that lesson, which is an entirely different but related story. Anyway, he opened it for me and I nealy died. In the bucket was 17 diamond back rattlers!!! Just rattling away when he lifted the lid. Why did he have them, he was collecting them or research when he fell and broke his arm. Why did he bring them into the ER? He did not want them to die in his car. What would I have done if they were my snakes????? Had one hell of a barbecue, but definitely would not have caught, touched, and been anywhere near them while they were alive!!! Will I learn my lesson and stop asking always loaded, "what do you have there question?" nope, but will never open any container on my own!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Freaky Friday

Questions of the day.....

29 year old female presented with pelvic pain. After finding out that she had a small vaginal tear, her husband requested that we exam him. Why? Because as he pointed out (pun intended) his penis was way too small to cause any type of tear. He wanted us to measure and prove that his wife was cheating on him... He even offered to get it hard for us to measure.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I ran away awhile from life. Or at least I tried, with no success I would add. I needed time to reflect on life, my life in particular. I had too many children die on me this year. Nothing that we did could save them and one begged to just let her go, she was tired of the fight. As a nurse that works in the ED, we have pretty thick skins, yet sometimes things get to us. I felt mentally and emotionally exhausted.I think I had to just mourn a bit for those that I never knew, but took care of in their last moments. Sometimes people forget that we are human because we have to maintain our composure when hell breaks out, but many of us do care and carry a piece of our patients around with us. I ended up just shutting down emotionally, not depressed, but on autopilot. However, auto pilot does not seem to work too well for me. I love nursing. Having myself shut off to the emotional aspect of my work lead to me not enjoying it. Yes, death is sad, children death is heart wrenching, yet there is more to being a nurse then just the sad aspects. So now I a back to posting silly patients, sad stories, and stupid things that I do.