Friday, November 26, 2010

Today's Last Patient of the Night....

...had been "allegedly assaulted": translation, someone beat the crap out of him; says he, "they cheap shotted me". Uh huh. He had a bloody nose, a lacerated lip and the beginnings of a nice shiner. Nope, he didn't want to report it to the local constabulary. It was a struggle for New Cindy to triage him because he was on his phone. Incessantly. I loathe this type of behavior and don't tolerate it myself. Must be the school nurse in me, but I have no problem telling a 24 year old to quit acting like an ass. Since we were looking at xrays and sutures we wanted to get this show on the road so we could finish and leave sometime before 1 AM. Keep in mind that we won't hurry through care, but we do like to actually get to the treatment part of the festivities expeditiously. For those of you with a cell phone glued to your ear and who can't go more than 4 seconds without texting your oh-so- important minutiae, listen up: unless you are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or are on the verge of discovering either life on Mars or a cure for cancer, IT CAN WAIT. Seriously.

We were working with a relatively new doc, Parvati; she is so great. She loves having the opportunity to work in a less frenetic ER because it gives her time to actually talk with the patients. For someone who has been working in a ER for years and years as I have, her viewpoints and attitude towards patients and patient care are refreshing. Many people are so impressed with her that they ask if she has a private practice.

Parvati saw the patient immediately and ordered the appropriate xrays. The whole time the phone was hanging off his ear like an appendage. Mary took him around the corner to get started on his films.

10 minutes later, Mary came out, clearly frustrated. The patient was not cooperative and had been putting her off in order to "take this one call, it's important". Um, no. You do not have a job, children or anything going for you at present. Your "cheap shot" was likely the result of a drug deal gone bad.

Now pissy, I marched down to the radiology department and in my bitchiestmost persuasive command voice advised him that he needed to put the phone away NOW, and that the doctor was waiting to treat him. Besides, I told him, "you are being extraordinarily rude". He put the phone away and Mary got to work.

Since our doors are literally locked at 11 PM, I was quite surprised to hear the outer door open. The patient's mom and dad had opened the door to let in an equally annoying younger brother. I admonished them not to open the door for anyone without checking with me first since we were actually closed; besides we just are not comfortable with random people wandering around when there is no secretarial staff to keep an eye on things in the waiting room. Secretaries get to leave at 11 PM unless we really need them. Along with windows, we nurses just don't do registration, it's complicated and frankly, I don't want to learn it since I already have a fair amount of secretarial work that takes away from nursing tasks.

Parvati had a happy little talk with the idiots parents about what she was going to do and mentioned how rude and obnoxious talkative he was on his phone. It should come as no surprise that the idiot parents thought it was funny; "Oh, that's our moronic progeny little darling, he LOVES to talk, haha!".

Um, did I mention that he had no insurance? 1 hour of weekend and night shift differential at time and 1/2 for 2 nurses and an x-ray tech as well as high quality medical care for which we will not see one thin dime. Yeah.

God Bless America!