So I made one of my first bigger boo-boos the other day. I've made plenty of eensy ones, but this is one where a doctor looked at me and gave me the look-o-shame. The look that says, "you should know better than that." The look that makes me want to crawl under a stretcher somewhere.
A girl came in in the wee hours of the morning, and she had been stabbed in the shoulder-blade with an unknown object. When I say stabbed, I mean it was more like a small lac. I could see all the borders of the wound, and it very clearly was procured by a poorly-aimed assailant. She walked in through triage, and the nurse there took all her info and vitals and such. She walks her back to my room, and calls to let me know there was a girl who "got poked in the back" now in there. I didn't get back there for about 10 minutes since I was dealing with a more time-consuming patient. When I finally do, the girl tells me what happens, vitals are stable, I look at the wound, see the edges, and then type in her assessment. 25 minutes later the doc goes, "so what's the deal with this patient? Do I need to see her now or can she wait?" I explain how she is stable and can wait, she has a very minor stab wound over her shoulder.
That magic word, stab, especially in the torso region - of which the shoulder blade is included - automatically means she needs to be upgraded to the most critical trauma patient. The doc does a double take at that word, and immediately goes to see her. In my head, I'm thinking "crapcrapcrapcrapcrap manI'mgoingtobefired crapcrapcrapcrap..."
We ended up only upgrading her to the lower-level trauma patient, but I learned a valuable lesson to always call the doc or charge if I'm even the least bit unsure about the classification of a patient. The doc was great about it and agreed with my assessment, and even made sure to tell me that he is always open to calls and questions about such things. Still, I felt like a bit of a tool. And just reassured myself of how new to this I really am, lest I get cocky.
But now I know. And knowing is half the battle.