Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Musings from the ER

I wrote most of this the other night (morning?) when I did a night shift in the ER. I didn't post it because I knew I'd have 28 sentences that made no sense because my eyes were crossing at the time. I almost deleted it, but I just edited my incoherancies (I know, not a word)...and here you go. A little glimpse into another portion of my life:

I'm at work right now, finally getting my federally mandated 30 minute break. Note that I got here at 9:30pm, and it's now 5:50am, and I am just now getting my first chance to sit down, not to mention empty my elephant sized bladder. I've been downing coffee tonight like it's going out of style, so you really should be impressed.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall in a busy ER. Here are just a very few of the highlights:
  • A few people with respiratory problems. The young ones who don't smoke 3 packs a day went home, and the old ones, along with the ones who bring their own ash trays, got admitted.
  • A 16-year-old who was in a gang fight and has a stab wound to the face.
  • About five patients with migraines (probably only 2 of whom are legit).
  • Four people with dental pain (none of whom are legit).
  • A schizophrenic woman high on cocaine who is restrained to her bed after swearing she'll kill us all.
  • A patient with chronic back pain for 10+ years who decided that at 2am the ER would no doubt cure him.
  • A lady tweaking on meth who fell off the back of a truck and only bruised her knee.
  • An incredibly foul mouthed 21 year old "gentleman" with a laceration on his upper lip after being punched in the face by his father. I almost gave him a matching one on the lower lip.
That's been my night so far. And you are probably sleeping in your nice warm comfortable bed, your head resting on a fluffy pillow, no need for a Big Gulp of bad coffee and a can of pepper spray in your pocket...sucker.


Faith said...

oh my. i am laughing while at the same time feeling incredibly sorry for you and all of the other nurses! wow. i wish i could be a fly on the wall there!

Anonymous said...

Hey Angie! I'm with ya Sista! But you forgot to mention the foreign bodies in various orifices, the PID, the MVAs, the bets on ETOH levels, the "specimens of the night" contests, the friendly police & paramedics, discussions of the best barf you've ever seen, and my favorite: pilonidal cysts:) Have some more fun for me: I've "retired" to "Mommy" hours:)
Rainy T.

ang said...

Oh Rainy, you know I could have gone on and on! I didn't want to completely lose most of my audience, (any weak stomachs should stop reading now) but someday I'll share with you my personal best barf experiences (one involves charcoal vomit out of an NG tube and the other was when I was newly pregnant with Jake and my geriatric patient had just eaten a fish dinner and couldn't hold her own emesis basin).

Anonymous said...

Beat ya! Chinese dinner: rice through the nose (and a language barrier too). Pepperoni & lots of beer is always a fabulous smell when you're a preg-o nurse:) And charcoal through the NG tube is pretty popular.....
Good to hear the late-night barf stories still continue:)

Anonymous said...

You two don't scare me. I was raised by two nurses as Rainy knows. Too funny. I like those friendly police officers too. (insert wiggling eyebrows here)
Melanie B (met you at Wild Horse this spring)