Monday, November 23, 2009

A + for creativity.

So I'm spending my first (very enlightening) night in triage last night in first look (where we first ask the patient about their complaint and see if they can wait to be seen or triaged) when this woman walks up to the door and asks if I can bring out a stretcher. A stretcher? Nope. I tell the lady I can bring out a wheelchair. She tells me that her mom is in such terrible sickle cell pain that she can't even sit up in the chair. Once she figures out that's all we have, her mom manages to make it from the sitting position in her daugher's SUV to a sitting position in our wheelchair, and we wheel her to the check-in desk where she refuses to write her own information, because it was too painful, although she was able to answer her cell phone on the way in. In the middle of collecting their information, when they start to realize that they won't immediately be swept straight into a room and may even be forced to sit in the waiting room without getting Dilaudid on arrival, the lady pulls out this gem-
"I can't wait in this waiting room. I'm in the witness protection program, and someone might recognize me."
WOW. Lucky for them we had our third triage room open, so they got to wait their turn in there with their identity uncompromised, sitting in the wheelchair. But hey, you can't blame them for trying.*

*Not in any way to sound calloused toward sickle cell pain, I'm actually calloused against patients who don't get that we're not just blowing off their pain, but that people who are bleeding and trying to stop breathing go first! "Witness protection" or not.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Even I blushed.

I'm sure it would come as no surprise to anyone that I have a little problem with language. I try to tone it down on here, but when I vent at work, I swear so much that it has earned me not one, but two different nicknames- "Lil' pot" by one nurse, and the one that's caught on a little more- "Sailor". Nice. But man. I can honestly say that lately, the little old people around here have been giving me a run for my money.
There was the one the other day that I had to start an IV on- she was pretty demented and very combative. She cussed up a storm, repeatedly asking all of us what the F we were doing, and constantly telling us to quit our f-ing "rat piddlin'". What that actually means, I have no idea, but it's definitely caught on here. If giving us the word rat piddlin' was the high point of the evening, I'll definitely say that the low point of the evening was when about three of us had to pretty much wrestle this lady so we could catheterize her. As my coworker was holding her arm, she looked straight into her eyes and said, "You little bitch. I bet you're enjoying this, aren't you?" Ouch. That's even worse than the time I got called a bitch ass hoe by a drunk lady.
The funniest of these experiences so far, though, came last week when me and one of the medics had to cath this little old lady with a urinary tract infection. The shift had just started when I grabbed him to come help me, and he immediatly looked into the room before I even told him where it was when he said, "It's not that lady, is it? She's already cussed me out once today." So we go in to do this, and naturally she's soiled her diaper and we have to go ahead and clean that up. As we're cleaning her, she runs off into a string of cusswords that made even me blush a little, but with in a tone and cadence like she was trying to remember what was on her grocery list. "He-hey, what the F are you doing with this shit? Get the F outta there. Leave that shit."
"We're just trying to clean you ma'am. We're trying to keep this out of your urethra so we can keep from making the UTI worse."
"F it. That shit is all up there anyway. What the F are you doing, stupid ass bastards?"
It pretty much went on like that the entire time- once it was over with, we got her settled and I went to give her some Tylenol for her fever. She's very cooperative and she takes it just fine, I give her a few sips of water, and as soon as she finishes, she says very calmly, "Dumbass bitch. I don't want anymore f-ing water." I could not stop laughing.
Her son came by a little later, and I was telling him with much amusement about her cussing us all out. He started laughing hysterically too, and then he tole us that she used to be a nurse, too. Well. That explains it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cheif complaint FAIL

Wow. When I worked in yellow zone last night, we had a lady check in with the chief complaint of "insect bite" and leave with discharge instructions for genital herpes. Um. Those must have been some bugs, lady.