Monday, February 20, 2012


The seven hour waits of February are always a great source of creativity for Hood Hospital patients. Hmm. How can I get seen faster for my flu like symptoms? Adding additional complaints while you're waiting is a popular one, but the number one most popular tactic by far is to say you have chest pain. I slipped and fell down the stairs and now my tailbone hurts, and also I've been having chest pain all week. Sorry to disappoint, but this alone will not get you seen any faster. You will get an EKG in triage, which of course, will be normal, and you will get labs drawn when you go back to a room. In seven hours. Like everyone else out here.
So, what's the solution? Well, ever you are an ever adapting and clever Hood Hospital ER patient, the answer is to get even more specific. Such as the lady who checked herself and her three kids in for the upper respiratory infections they've all been nursing that week. I start triaging with the oldest of the kids, and this is seriously what she tells me: "yeah, well junior, he been coughing for like, two weeks steady, and when he cough, he cough like this green phlegm, and when he cough his heart hurts." YUP. His heart. Note patients, the bar has just been raised.
Me, to patient: "Point to where it hurts when you cough, sweetie."
Junior: "Here." (points to middle of chest)
"Okay then. Who's next?"
Natch, all four of them had heart pain in the middle of their chests whenever they coughed or took deep breaths. None of them had any medical history. Zero of them got EKGs. Sorry about the wait, folks. The ER beds are all full of people getting 5 hour cardiac workups as opposed to 15 minute flu discharges.

1 comment:

  1. hihi! this reminds me so much of my time in ER Norway. Same problem, people come in and tel lies... then again, working in one of Norways biggest hospitals now with lung ang abodominal patients( have no clue how to say that in english right...) I see the same thing when people DON`T want to be sent home... See, we have free heath service over here, meaning that you don´t ever pay for hospitalstays, medisin or anything related to health once you´re inside the system(hospiral). So when people have stayed just long enough tofigure out that the food is allright, the beds made, and the nurses all over nice and smiling(!) they want to stay. And thereby get chestpains... knowing that we´ll have to check it out. Again. And Again...

    loving your blog!

    Sooo putting it up there on my good blogs list!

    :) renate