Saturday, July 12, 2008

You Know It'll Be a Good Day When...

Apparently not every day brings challenges in the ER. A few days ago was one of those days.

You know it is going to be good when...

* You come on shift and only two of your rooms have patients in them.
* One of those patients gets discharged before last shift's nurse leaves.
* The other is a drunk holdover from last night, but gets up on the first try and walks to the bathroom. Gone 30 minutes later.
* Your next patient is a wound recheck that involves approximately 3 minutes of your time.
* Your next patient's only complaint is nausea for 1.5 hours. That's right. No vomitting, no chest pain, no paresthesias, no back pain. Nothing. So IV, Zofran, labs to rule out heart probs, see you later.
* You get assigned an ambulance patient with chest pain... and find it has resolved by arrival to the ER. Yeah, he's there for a few hours waiting for a room to rule out MI, but your main job is to make sure vitals are charted every hour and the pain doesn't come back.
* You don't get any other patients for 4 hours.
* When you finally do get a patient, you are at lunch and so the IV is started, the medications are given, the labs are drawn, and all that is needed is a quick secondary exam.
* 5 minutes after you are done with the secondary exam, the patient is moved to another room because of a doctor switcharoo.
* You admit your chest pain patient and hove NOTHING AT ALL TO DO for the last hour and a half of your shift.
* You want to see if anyone needs help, but everyone else is seeing if anyone needs help as well.
* There are never more than 10 patients in the Main ER for the entire shift, and as few as 4.
* There is a surprise going away party for one of the nurses, so you don't even have to buy lunch (although it is sad to see a good charge nurse leave).
* Your day pretty much involved two IV starts, hanging three liters of fluid, giving Zofran twice, Nitroglycerin 3 times and putting on a Nitro patch. Oh, and getting vital signs. Oh, and a wound check (any pain? no. any discharge? no. redness? no. discomfort? no. Great, see ya)

Okay, so some people might not call that a good day, what with the boredom and all, but after the past couple of weeks, it was supremely nice to have a bit of a break.

That's the ER for you: sink or swim.


EE said...

You know it's going to be a bad day when....

you drive up to the ED and there are 3 helicopters circling the hospital. Um, can someone tell me how this happened?

2 were taking patients away, but still.

Anonymous said...

I work in an busy, inner city, level I trauma center. I consider a slow day - any day that I have less than 10 pts at a time. So your day sounded like a dream. :)