Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm Pretty Sure That's Not Correct

I have a trick for keeping a pretty good report with most of my ER patients by responding to the really off the wall shit the way they taught us to talk to psych patients in nursing school.  Basically, no matter what someone says, I just nod with wide eyes like I understand and am taking everything in, and then I basically reword what they just said and ask if I understand correctly.  This is also pretty much how I dealt with all the complaints as a charge nurse, except add "I'm sorry that happened to you" on at the end.  Anyway, I pretty much always manage to listen and act like what people are saying is totally run-of-the-mill and not crazy. 
But the other day,  I'm triaging this girl with a totally unrelated, non-life-threatening complaint when she just mentions in passing, "Oh yeah, and I think I like, died last night." So I kind of look askance at her baby-daddy who's with her, and he's like, "Oh, uh huh, yeah, she like, wasn't waking up, so I called my mom, and she came over, and she did CPR, and she woke up."
I physically could not bring myself to nod.  Like word vomit, I just blurted out, "Um, wait, TIME OUT. So, last night, you DIED, and YOUR girlfriend was just laying there DEAD until however long it took you to call your mom and for her to come to your house, and then after being dead for 15 minutes, you just woke up, but didn't think it necessary to seek medical attention for this until nearly 24 hours later while being seen for something completely different and less serious?"
Both of them just stared at me blankly.  
I mean.  Look, if we're going to have disclaimers to not eat the pellets that come in your shoes or not to try the stunts seen in commercials and warnings not to smoke around gasoline, maybe the TV shows where people get CPR for a bit and then hop up and stroll along their merry way need to put warnings at the bottom of the screen that read DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT HOW CPR ACTUALLY WORKS PLEASE CALL 911 IF YOU HAVE ZERO TRAINING IN CPR.   Because apparently the shoe pellet eaters are out there somewhere, performing CPR on their deep sleeping family members.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

From the Comment Wall of Fame

Hood Hospital 2 has a bulletin board in the doc's room, which is a place where various notices are kept, but it has also become the official patient complaint hall of fame.  Any surveys or comment cards with particularly colorful language can be found there for the staff to enjoy.  I was in there talking with the one of the docs the other day when I noticed possibly the best comment card I had ever seen, written about one of my favorite ER doctors.  It read:
"Cool lady ER doc was the best.  She treated me with the utmost respect and care, even though I accidentally cussed her out."
WHOOPS! Don't you hate it when you accidentally cuss someone out?  It's like when you're trying to hold a fart in but can't, but instead of stinky gas from your bowels, it's verbal abuse and profanity.   Any diet suggestions to keep this from happening again in the future?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Secret Code

Over the years, ER BFF and I have developed numerous discreet ways of alerting each other to patients/coworkers foolishness while they might be in earshot, some more successful than others.  Yeah, in retrospect maybe suggesting we activate the pillow team was not one of our better choices. Our discretion is now especially important now that we're in an ER without doors. But dude.  I have a new system that I'm pretty sure is actually bulletproof in it's deniability.
The ER term of the moment is troll, also extended to trololol if I'm feeling silly.  Which always made me think of trololol guy.  If you have somehow sheltered yourself from the internet this much that you don't know what I'm referring to, you're welcome/I'm sorry:
So, anyway, I'm actually embarrassed I didn't think of it sooner, but now, if I want to alert ER BFF or anyone else around me that someone fits troll criteria, I just hum the trololol song. It's perfect.  Anway. You're welcome to use it, if you can keep it on the QT guys.

Bonus material:

Monday, February 11, 2013


Ermagerd Serenity Now Hospital is back.  It's on, bitches.

Friday, February 8, 2013

This Is Definitely a Bad Sign

Yeah, it's never good when you go to wash your hands and notice in the mirror that your badge has a big smear of blood across it, and you can't even begin to narrow down whose blood it might be because you have multiple patients with blood shooting out of multiple orifices.
The ICU hell streak continues. I'm considering holy water as a viable option at this point.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Study in Opposites

Look, I know the phrase "squeaky wheel gets the grease" and all that other bullshit, but when the squeaky wheel is a douche mcgouche, it really shouldn't.  This happens in the ER, like, all the time though.  If you're demanding and rude, I'm going to work on getting you everything faster simply because I don't want to deal with your shenanigans when you have to wait.  Meanwhile, if you're nice and patient and generally a stand up member of the human race, you're going to wait a little longer for everything because we can get by doing it that way.  I hate it.   
I had a side by side example today, though, and it really kind of broke my heart.  Two ladies came in for the same problem, and I was taking care of them both.  One was super nice, grateful, and polite, while the other was demanding as hell and all up in everyone's business all night.  I asked for pain medicine for the nice lady, except the douchiest PA on the planet was taking care of her, so I was ignored obvs.  The other lady thrashed about and acted a complete fool, so she got a dose of pain meds.  And then another. And then another, AND ANOTHER.  Yup. One of those waking up from your slumber to tell me your pain is a ten type of situations.  Meanwhile, nice lady is not upset by the lack of orders, but thinks I must be the second coming of Florence Nightingale since I got her a pillow.  
Both of them ended up with test results and discharge papers at approximately the same time- can you guess which one of them actually had a real reason to be in pain? Not the one who had actually received anything for it.  Can you guess who got sent home with a prescription for something you can't buy over the counter? Yeah.   
Yet when I went in and explained all the home remedies and the schedules and doses she could take on every OTC pain killer in the book, she was still all smiles and thanked me tons of times for taking such great care of her.  Right as lady #2 was totally wigging out on one of my teammates about her the NUMBER of narcs she was getting sent home with, sweet lady was heading out while she walked up with a comment card about how great her care was, thanked me again and waved goodbye.   I could have cried.   I hate that people like this get the shaft.  I felt super guilty about the whole thing, even though I wasn't in a position to do anything.  I hope I remember this crap if I ever get through enough school to have prescribing rights.