Friday, December 14, 2012

A real emergency

So it was freakin' busy last night. Bambalance patients lined up waiting for a stretcher, long wait in the WR, tons of stuff to be done. I'm discharging a patient who had a rash on her arm. It's been there for two YEARS. You heard. Two years. She has been to (multiple) dermatologists. She's seen an allergist. She switched PMDs when her first couldn't tell her what was wrong. So when I discharge her with the instructions of "your bloodwork is normal, vitals are normal, and it's the same rash you've had for a while now. Here's some numbers for different specialists, you'll need to follow up with them," the patient gets pissed. At me. Personally.

She got that haughty look on her face and goes, "of course you don't know what's really wrong with me. You're just a nurse. Now go get the doctor, I want to speak with him about my diagnosis because obviously you don't know what you're talking about."

Oh, no. It's on, woman.

I kindly inform her that the doc has already spoken with her before discharge, and printed up his diagnosis on the papers, and that she has the same rash she's had for two years - so naturally she flips out and starts berating me, nurses in general, this emergency room, ERs in general, the ED doc, all ED docs everywhere, and the fact that we in the ER are too stupid to know why she has like 12 itchy bumps on her arm.

"Ma'am," I said, "unless those bumps instantly morph into Ebola, you're gonna be fine. This is the ER. We fix emergencies, not chronic skin rashes, and if you continue to yell at me security can escort you out. Here's your paperwork, have a nice day."

I can only wait in agonizing suspense until the day she signs in with Ebola virus. Sigh.

3 comments:

ernursing said...

I work in the ER as well. People like this drive me nuts! We were crazy busy on christmas eve ( a night i expected to be a little smoother because i thought people would actually want to be home with their families) and we get all of these people in who have had a tooth ache or whatever for a month and decide christmas day at 02:00am is the time to get it fixed haha

jen said...

love your site. Im new to er after 5yrs icu/pcu. having a ball. just one question-is your lead picture taken in new hampshire?

Shrtstormtrooper said...

Thanks! I'm glad you like the site! And welcome to the ER :)

The picture is actually from Virginia's Shenandoah park on Hawksbill Summit. It's one of my favorite summit trails in that park.