Thursday, March 4, 2010

I am one tired girl!

I knew there was a reason I only worked two days a week!  I've been picking up extra time at my job in the ER and good LORD am I tired!  There is only so much crazy one woman can bear.  For those of you that might be thinking that a trip to the ER is a necessary part of your day, let's lay a few ground rules, shall we?

1)  Please don't start off your story with "Well, it all started three months ago..."  I'm sorry, I'm not interested in three months ago... why are you here TONIGHT?  If we need to, we can back it up and talk about the distant past once we have today figured out.

2)  (related to #1) Please don't tell me that whatever is bothering you has been going on for three or four MONTHS and that you've never spoken to your primary doctor about it.  Really?  And now it's an emergency because....?

3)  (related to #2) Please don't yell at me about why I'm not giving you something for pain in Triage when you've been having pain that you've told no one about for three months.  You waited three months, you can wait for three more minutes for me to finish asking you questions.

4) Please understand that we have to take people back based on the severity of their complaint/illness.  Don't yell at me because I took the baby that couldn't breathe to the back before I took you... when you're suffering from an ingrown toenail.  (true story)

5)  Please don't tell me that your pain is a "10" on a 0-10 scale when moments before you were chatting/laughing/texting on your cell phone, calmly reading the paper, or eating Cheetos.

6)  (related to #5) Please don't come in complaining of severe abdominal pain with a bag from Mickey D's in your hand... then in the next breath ask me if you can eat.  (true story)

7)  Please don't tell me that you thought you should "just get this ~blank~ looked at".  That's what your primary doctor is for.  Is it bleeding, falling off or exploding?  Now you have my attention.

8)  Remember there are certain orifices on the body that are designed to be "exit only".  If you stick something in there, and get it stuck, please don't be offended if I ask you how it happened.  I need to make sure no one was trying to hurt you.

9)  If your child has a fever at home, PLEASE give them Tylenol or Motrin before you bring them in.  It is not necessary for me to "see" the fever to believe you.

10)  Finally, please don't let your children play with the medical equipment or ring the nurse call bell over and over again.  It makes me want to cry when I have to pick up 748 little otoscope covers from the floor, or when I have to answer the call light 15 times because you won't stop little Timmy from pushing the pretty buttons.

Most importantly, if I seem tired or stressed, it's likely because it's been a long day and I've been at it for 12 hours.  I love my job and I love helping people, but some days are just too much!

I hope you all take this with the tongue in cheek spirit in which it was meant.  I've been a nurse for over 20 years, and I've never wanted to do anything else.  Okay, perhaps I'd like to win the lottery and move to Bimini, but short of that, I'll keep doing what I love.... "fixing people's boo-boo's" (Jack's version of what Mommy does for a living).

Have a great day... I'm heading to bed!!


  1. I want to add that the ER does not give flu shots so don't ask.

  2. I don't usually comment, but this cracked me up. I'm a RN at a big(ger) city county hospital, and boy does this all sound more than familiar! I think you covered it all, except, if it isn't food DON'T SWALLOW IT! We just recently had a guy from the jail swallow a spork just so he could come and visit the hospital. Trust me, we really aren't THAT great! Good luck on your journey!

  3. i am an OT who finished up a 12 hour long clinic, spent 2 more on documentation, and completely get it!! love love love the job. but lottery tickets, retirement, and as many kids as i can afford to adopt sure does sound good on some days :)

  4. Hi! Here from Lauri's blog - congrats on your new babies! We adopted both our children (domestically) and are blessed with a 4 year old boy and a newborn daughter.

    I laughed out loud at this post - I avoid the ER like a plague and just the other day I was having lunch with a lady who told me she frequents her ER more often than her primary care physician (yikes!)

  5. we were once waiting in the emergency room. This young lady walked out talking about what a scary asthma attack she had just had, how hard it was for them to get it under control yada yada yada. The minute she stepped foot outside she lit a cigarette. ummm yeah that should help.