Friday, September 30, 2005

Another ER snapshot

Kim, RN, at Emergiblog:
You have 8 people on the triage list and 14 sitting in the waiting room. Every other hospital in your county is on ambulance diversion, which means you must take the ambulance traffic. Dr. Surgeon wants everything STAT for the appy and Dr. Cardio is taking someone to the cath lab. Now. Ms. Scratchy Throat wants to know how much longer it will be and Mr. Groin Itch wants to leave without being seen. Thank god you are working with Dr. Efficient in the ER, but he's yelling for the charts you haven't had time to finish. You have been running for six hours, you haven't eaten for ten and more than likely you'll be overtime because someone just called in for the night shift.

In walks Mrs. Mom with her three children, all under the age of four, all of them with fever, all of them to be seen.

You want to scream. You want to pull out your hair. You want to laugh hysterically. You want to burst into tears...

Instead, you smile, ask "How can I help you?" while you do quick visual check of all three kids, take down their names and point them to the waiting room to await triage. Why?

Because the patient is NOT the enemy.
Because the worst thing you can do to a patient is make them feel stupid, awkward or wrong for showing up...
via Science and Politics.


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