Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I just love that we have video cameras that capture all the drama of what is happening around our ER. There are, in total, 11 separate views that include our 3 parking lots, entry way, and waiting room among others. Other than a bit of unfrosted glass to peer out of in our ambulance bay that is adjacent to the main parking area and a small window in triage, there is not a greater opportunity to observe incoming than what our cameras capture. I can sit comfortably at one of two chairs at the nurses desk, pull up the camera program on my computer and, with the mere push of a button, visualize up to eight separate views simultaneously. Most patients are unaware of this, so we frequently have some fun with it.

Occasionally I will see a severely debilitated, limping patient come in complaining of severe back pain. What a thrill to see (on camera) the very same patient miraculously straighten up and walk with a rapid and steady gait through the parking lot to a waiting vehicle with his magic prescription for narcotics. A Miracle!!!

Equally miraculous is the patient who arrived by ambulance with the knee injury; no fracture, but it could definitely be a ligamentous or cartilage injury. Good thing it felt so much better after application of knee immobilizer and careful crutch walking instructions that the patient was observed to have removed the brace and THROW IT AND THE CRUTCHES INTO THE BUSHES AND WALK NORMALLY!! I was so impressed with our physician's ability to heal with just a 'script for Tramadol!

We call the biggest bush "The Giving Tree" because we have found that sometimes the afflicted who have experienced a miracle healing will heave unto it their slings, wrist splints or ace bandages like those who are healed at Lourdes. HALLELUJAH!!!

Lots of times people who shouldn't be driving home because we have given them medication are caught in a lie observed getting into the driver's side of a car; we like to let them know that they are impaired, and since we have no way of alerting every driver on the road, they will not be allowed to drive. Or we call the police. Decide.

One night we had a couple of cars broken into with the theft of some items such as a GPS, backpack, and money (who leaves money in a car?). I was able to pull up video evidence for the police that resulted in the apprehension of some less than scrupulous individuals; and since one of the individuals was attending a meeting, SNAP! Gotcha piture purty lady, heh heh.

Mikki likes that we can see if the police are parked in our back parking lot (she is a 'fraidy cat) to ensure our safety as we walk out.

Ellen wants to be able to tell all of the patients without ID or insurance, "that's quite alright, simply look up into that corner while our camera captures your likeness for future reference".

Me? I just have my eyes glued to the screen to make sure that no cars pull in at 10:57 PM. Then I lock the door. Good night!


Amy said...

That would totally depress me. I can see where someone can become jaded, just how many patients that go to the ER actually need to be there?

Do you ever see people struggling from their car to the door?

I just don't know if I could handle being civil to people if I know they are lying to my face.....

EDNurseasauras said...

Oh sure. On the upside, we can immediately identify anyone who really needs help and get out there quickly. And you know, people always get the benefit of the doubt until they actually are caught in a lie. And we have LONG memories!