Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some Things Can't be Unseen

Kerry called me on my cell the other day while I was driving and caught me in a weak moment; could I PLEASE work 4 hours on Saturday morning so she could go to her son's playoff game, pretty please, please, puh-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze???! Sigh. OK. At least I got to work with Lisa who is funny as hell; we are a bad combination attitude-wise but usually manage to have more than a few laughs. What I didn't count on having to work with Parvati, who is painful to work with and who just feeds into people's drama unnecessarily. "WHAT? YOU HAVE VOMITED ONCE AND BEEN SICK FOR 15 MINUTES? YOU NEED IV FLUIDS AND LAB WORK TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE NOT DEHYDRATED!!". Um, no. You really don't. What you need is a prescription for common sense. With Parvati, everyone is treated as if they really ARE as sick as they think they are.

Like Whiny Cough Lady ("I have really bad roll-y you have to put the IV there?....IV's don't ever hurt me that much..... can I have another straw?.....I don't liiiiiiiiiiike being siiiiiiiiiiiicccccccccccck......Don't you think I am the sickest and most pathetic creature on the planet who had bronchitis everrrrrrrrr??!!). Bleecch. She really didn't need to tie up my last remaining bed for two hours; didn't need any of that. What I needed was a bed for a teenager with a broken ankle. We are an ER, not a hotel.

Then there was Migraine Lady #1, 298 who was apparently put out that her 10/10 headache was not treated immediately with Dilaudid. She walked out prior to the completion of her care without a word to anyone, although she got IV fluids, Toradol and Compazine. I did all the things I was supposed to; offered her crackers and juice, took her vital signs, dimmed the lights, got her a toasty warm blanket or three, and reassessed her pain after I had medicated her. Too bad she left, because Parvati had just written an order for her to have her much desired narcotics. She scarpered when I was busy with an overdose, but unfortunately with the IV still in her arm. Her Skanky Neighborhood phone number was.....disconnected, surprise, surprise. Oh, no work number because she is unemployed. Ah, no insurance so you and I will take the hit on this.

But it is bad when people leave with IV's in their arm; liability.

So I called dispatch to see if they could send a police officer or animal control officer to politely ask her to return; we really don't want IV drug users running around unsupervised with expertly and hygienically placed venous access. Not that she was, but still.

Me: 'Hi, this is EDNurseasauras at the ER. One of our patients left with an IV in, her phone number is disconnected and I was hoping you could send an officer to her house to encourage her to return for its removal"

Dispatch: "Sure, no problem. What's her name and address?" I gave him the particulars; he said he would get back to me. We heard the call go out on the scanner. A short time later, the dispatcher called me back:

Dispatch: "I guess she hasn't made it home yet; what was she wearing?"

Me: "Is this a recorded line?"

Dispatch: "No, it's not".

Me: "OK, good. She was wearing a horrendous neon pink jogging suit, the likes of which should never be seen in public, never mind being displayed on a woman that size"

Dispatch: (muffled laughter), "OK, um. Ok. Hold on.. (more muffled laughter). Is it pink on top and bottom?"

Me: "Yes, except for the parts where the material doesn't cover the tattoos on her muffin top"

Dispatch: (strangled noise, muffled snorting), "Um, OK, sure. I'll send and officer to see if he can spot her on foot".

Me: "Shouldn't be too hard to miss".

She never showed up, another big surprise.

Jane calls all the patients who leave before they are discharged; most of the time it's because the wait is too long, or they have to pick up their kids, or they see who the doctor is and realize they will probably not be getting any Vicodin this visit. Migraine Lady said "we were mean to her and didn't care about her pain". Translation for the uninitiated: "I didn't get any @%^&!ing narcotics!"

Jane: "Oh, it's too bad you left before getting the Dilaudid that Dr. Parvati prescribed for you; the ER was very busy at that time with a critically ill patient that, unfortunatley tied up the nurses; sorry for the inconvenience. Hope you feel better, have a nice day".

Translation: @%^&! off.