Yesterday I had the following actual patients:
Vomiting for 3 days,
New onset atrial fib
General weakness and chest pain
Abdominal pain (2 patients)
Detox from alcohol and vomiting
All of which had the same overarching concern, having NOT EATEN A SINGLE THING ALL DAY, and wanting food, wonderful hospital food before zofran, diltiazem, or ruling out a heart attack.
The cardiac and diabetic patients get Pale Trays. There are restrictions on both, but without any discernible distinction of the food on either. They consist of:
Some kind of chicken, probably baked. It is boneless, skinless and....pale. So, so pale. Perhaps with a sprinkling of dried green stuff. Could be parsley, could be green plastic shavings from tiny plastic green toy army men, who knows. The chicken is accompanied by some kind of pale starch, possible canned potatoes of some description. Maybe some kind of fruit cocktail, which is also pale, but comes with a cherry, providing a bit of color in a wee plastic container, or some yellowish colored canned fruit. The pale cherry, the color of which does not appear in nature, sits on top. And some vanilla pudding. The latter two will be sugar free.
The psuicidal psych patients are only allowed "finger foods". They don't get disposable plastic utensils, they get cardboard spoons that can't be fashioned into a weapon. So it's burgers and fries, pizza, chicken fingers, sandwiches. But the burgers ALWAYS COME WITH A SIDE OF RED ONION. Which smell bad when left about in the ER. Red onions should be banned from the ER.
Regardless of how bad the food is, ER patients will complain about being hungry above all else. If the chest pain is 5, the hunger level will be 10.
Pet peeve. Aside from the disgusting stench of people who smoke 3 packs a day and leave their stink in my cubicle of a triage room, I also have issues with the food odors. Sacks of burgers and fries often accompany patients to the ER, it being just too difficult to pass a fast food joint when loved ones have chest pain or abdominal pain. Or other similar emergency. That counter you just placed your feast on is where the urine samples go. Yep, there, in front of the vomit sacks. Sure, just put that right down there. And your greasy French fry finger can go right here in my oximeter. I'll just disinfect it.