Friday, March 14, 2008

Would You Like Some Cheese With Your Whine?

As the acuity in the waiting room plummets, the drama factor rises exponentially. There must be an equation for this; please post it if you can think of it. Whine, whine, whine, that's all I heard today. What is wrong with these people? I spent eight hours in my beloved triage box, and it was one bonehead after the other. A number of people presented with cold symptoms. Has there been some new ad in Good Housekeeping that encourages people to go directly to the nearest ER with a runny nose lasting more that 2 days? There were quite a few with vomiting. Tough call on vomiting and when it is appropriate to go to the ER, but I will say that nausea and vomiting x 1 before heading out will bump you down the acuity list. It will further be downgraded if you are asking for change for the snack machine or eating Cheetoh's.

It is a sad commentary on the art of triage that one's flair for drama sometimes gets a bed before others when all else is of equal (and low) acuity. By far the Academy Award went to a young woman who moaned, groaned, wailed, cried, carried on as if an alien baby was about to burst forth from her chest. I guess vomiting for 5 months will do that to a person. Her enabler / mouthpiece husband was right there to lend support and advocacy. Although she had normal vital signs, I had to get her out of the waiting room because she was Causing a Scene. Later I found out that she Caused a Scene about being discharged, and was admitted with an order for NO NARCOTICS OR BENZOS, and a psych consult. Good, I am glad her problems will be addressed and that she wasn't just kicked to the curb with more pain meds.