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Showing posts from August, 2007

Take a Guess: Which one do you think is telling the truth?

Patient number 1 is a early 40ish man with no medical history that comes in from his job at a construction site where he suffered a sudden onset of right flank pain. Driven in by a co-worker he is barely able to walk in, hunched over, pale, sweaty, diaphoretic, writhing on the gurney, tachycardic and hypertensive. Shortly after getting to triage he starts vomiting. During triage he seems apologetic when he rates his pain a "7 or 8."

Patient number 2 is a twenty something who is brought in from the parking lot in a wheelchair by a friend, they are laughing and talking on their cell-phones when you bring him in for triage. Chief complaint is a twisted ankle. Despite apparently being able to walk to the car at home he is now unable to walk and has to be brought into triage in a wheelchair. In triage his skin is pink, warm and dry and vitals are normal. He rates his pain a "12."

Patient number 1 is given Toradol and Compazine IV and has complete relief of his pain. He is…

R Privacy Issues

Let's face it, ER's are crowded and noisy. Despite our best attempts to maintain a patients privacy, when the next patient is six feet away with only a thin curtain between them, it is hard not to over hear what is going on next to you.

One night we had an elderly gentleman in curtain area 1 and next to him a prim, middle aged lady. The PA was trying to explain to the man what his diagnosis was but his efforts were being hampered by the fact that the man was very hard of hearing. The problem was something of a personal nature so the PA was trying to be discreet.

PA: Sir, you have pubic lice
PT: What's that you say?

PA: I said you have pubic lice.
PT: What?

PA: You've got lice down there
PT: Can't hear you son, you have to speak up

PA: I SAID YOU HAVE BUGS DOWN THERE
PT: Oh.

Of course we all overheard the conversation, including the prim lady in the next cubicle, who was red as a beet by now. The ER staff, dignified until the end, were draped across the counters shaking with …