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.