In the past I’ve written a post about when and when not to come to the ER. You can find it here. Tonight I’ll just share some unrelated thoughts concerning the ER.
-There is a term in the ER to describe someone who apparently has no idea what the crap has ever happened to them, ever. The term is “poor historian.” I don’t love the term because it doesn’t really capture the egregious lack of attention to detail some people have.
Ex: You’re not sure if it was a stroke that you had? Is that the stroke talking?
They didn’t tell you what medication made your throat close up and nearly die?
You have a history of cancer, but not sure what kind?
That has to take an honest effort, right? Like, an active attempt to ignore everything medical professionals try to tell you. When they start talking do they turn into Beaker and you just desperately resist the information trying to beat down the armored door you have protecting your tiny brain from knowledge? Do you cover your ears and sing? Are you actually claiming your body as a permanent residence without seriously knowing anything about it? The answer is simple. Yes. Yes, to all of the above. And let me guess? You’d also take some graham crackers?
-When I give you a cup to pee in, please impart some common courtesy and twist the lid on, and preferably not in the way that a four year old twists a cap. You are an adult. Securing a lid should be fairly straightforward. If you try to hand me a cup full of your urine sloshing about, with the lid precariously balanced on top, I will hand it back to you and ask you to “try again.” I’m not sure why you think its acceptable for me to handle your urine, but it just isn’t. I don’t handle my own urine, and yours looks like you eat sand for breakfast and tree sap for dinner.
-Don’t tell me you need us to figure out if your pregnant because your body “doesn’t make HCG and it doesn’t show up on urine tests.” That’s unfortunately not the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, but its definitely top 25.
-If your complaint starts with “Jack-in-the-Box” and ends with “Abdominal pain” I’ve probably stopped doing an actual assessment on you and started to think of something witty to say about you to the nurse outside.
-If you ask me to mix Grape juice and Shasta for you because its the only thing you can keep down, when I say “that’s not going to happen,” I wasn’t trying to be cute. And if I don’t do it you will probably lose your mind and tell me you now have chest pain radiating down your arm? I guess that’s why I’ll probably do it, but I won’t do it with a smile.
-Don’t tell me I “should really smile more.” You cough without covering your mouth. There’s nothing to smile about when I think about your bacteria parachuting all over my face.
-If you came in walking, you’re leaving walking. Why are you asking me for a wheelchair? Did your legs stop working? Did all of the BS you just told me about your non-problem paralyze you? I’ll let you crab-walk out of here before I get you a wheelchair. Hell, I’ll wheelbarrow you out myself if I have to.