Needs To Take A Breath At Such Incompetence

, , , , , , | Healthy | October 17, 2018

(I’ve had a cough for a while that just isn’t going away. On the weekend it gets so bad that I have difficulty breathing. Since it’s the weekend, I have to go to the emergency room. Even though I’m an adult, my dad goes with me, because being female and fat I often don’t get proper treatment. This time around, I don’t even get a doctor; I get a physician’s assistant. I’m too busy coughing and gasping for a decent breath to talk at this point. She doesn’t even bother to examine me and snaps at me the very second she comes past the curtain.)

Physician’s Assistant: “You have the flu. Go home!”

Dad: *looks at the woman in shock* “You didn’t even listen to her lungs, or touch her at all.”

Physician’s Assistant: “I don’t have to. She has the flu. Go home.”

Dad: “She’s having problems breathing. You need to listen to her lungs!”

Physician’s Assistant: *makes a great show of “listening” to my lungs, which lasts less than five seconds* “She has the flu. Go home!

Dad: “Can’t you at least give her a Rocephin shot?”

Physician’s Assistant: “It won’t do anything for the flu. Go home!

(She then flounced out and insisted I be discharged. The next day was a weekday and I went into my doctor without an appointment. He immediately informed me that I had a severe infection that required antibiotics, NOT the flu. He then gave me a Rocephin shot and I started to feel better by the afternoon. You can bet the hospital got a REALLY stern letter from me.)

An Ambulatory Emergency

, , , | Healthy | June 12, 2018

(I’m working at the window as a tech in the ER. It’s three am, but pretty busy, and the wait times are very long because we only staff half a dozen nurses and only one doctor at this time. A very impatient woman with a headache comes up to the window several times demanding to know how much longer it will be. Being an ER and not an urgent clinic, we see patients based on how likely they are to die in the waiting room, and we have seen her twice in the last week for her headache, so she has to get in line behind ambulances with broken bones and heart attacks.)

Patient: “How much longer is it going to be?!”

Me: “I’m so sorry, ma’am. Unfortunately, we’ve been getting many ambulances with critical patients in tonight, so it’s going to be a while before you can be seen. We cannot give out exact wait times, as we never know what kind of emergencies we will receive in the interim.”

Patient: “Well, if I go outside and call an ambulance, will it get me seen sooner?”

Me: “Well, no… the charge nurse would have you sent right back here to the triage area. Then we would be calling the police. Calling an ambulance from outside an ER for a medical emergency is against the law and they could arrest you.”

(She walked away from the window in a huff and waited another hour to be seen for the headache she should have seen a primary doctor for after her first visit a week ago. Our doctor gave her no more pain medicine, just a referral identical to two others she had gotten in our ER.)

A Whirlwind Of Stupidity

, , , | | Healthy | May 24, 2018

(I work at a small emergency department, not far from an amusement park. We get a steady stream of minor injuries from the park most days, but this one is unique. A teenage boy who is definitely old enough to know better is brought in by ambulance after he calls 911.)

Doctor: “So, what made you call 911 today? Must have been pretty serious.”

Boy: “Well, I started getting really dizzy. And I felt like I was going to throw up.”

Doctor: “Hmm, well, that could be any number of things. Did you do anything new or unusual today that might have triggered these symptoms?”

Boy: “I felt fine until I went on the Tilt-a-Whirl…”

Doctor: “I… you… I think you’re going to be okay.”

(Yes, he literally called 911 without asking his parents because he got motion sick. No, he didn’t have a developmental disability that would have explained his decision. His older sister showed up shortly after, heard what he’d done, slapped him upside the head, and dragged him out of the department. His parents are not going to be happy with the bill.)

Trash Can Make You Nauseous

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 7, 2018

(I have the stomach flu, and have spent the night throwing up, with diarrhea. Dehydrated and in pain, I go to the emergency room. I’m trying to do something to distract myself from the pain, so I turn on the TV in the room. The channel buttons don’t work, so it’s stuck on a staged reality show that features a lot of yelling and fighting. The nurse comes in while it’s on commercial.)

Nurse: “Okay, you are so dehydrated the doctor wants you on IV fluids for a while before we run more tests. Oh, what are you watching? Oh, this show is so trashy; I can’t believe it. Who would watch a trashy show like this. Do you like this?”

Me: “It’s what was on.”

Nurse: “Oh, wow. I can’t believe how trashy this is.”

(She stops and turns to watch the TV, ignoring me. It isn’t until the next commercial break that she finally turns and puts the IV in my arm, then leaves without attaching the saline. I start dry-heaving again, and she comes back in to give me a bucket to throw up in.)

Nurse: “Didn’t I attach the saline? I must have been distracted by that trashy TV show you like. What are they doing now?”

(She watches until the end of the episode, while I deal with waves of nausea, then finally comes back with the saline drip.)

Nurse: “Oh, my God, it’s another episode! Are they running a marathon? Who watches this trash?”

(She fiddles with the saline drip for a while, while watching the TV, and then stands and watches until the next commercial break. As soon as she leaves, I turn off the TV. She comes back in a moment later with another nurse.)

Nurse #2: “Why didn’t you start the anti-nausea medicine?”

Nurse: “I only just got the IV on her.”

(I was finally medicated, and as it kicked in, I drifted off into sleep. I was woken up by the TV being turned back on, and the nurse standing there watching it. She caught me watching and shook her head, muttering about the trashy show.)

Kentucky-Fried Cure

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 6, 2018

I work in a very large trauma ER, and we are very busy. I see a lot of weird things, but this one stands out.

A mother brings her 17-year-old daughter in for a “fever.” The registration clerk asks how high the fever is. Mom says, “100.” This is not really an emergency fever unless you have maybe an immune deficiency or are in cancer treatment.

The clerk asks how long she’s had the fever. Mom says, “Like, a day.” The pediatric ER is very busy that day, so they end up waiting about an hour. Halfway through, I look over into the waiting room. The daughter is on her phone, looking as healthy and happy as can be. Mom is nowhere to be seen, but since the daughter is an older teen, I don’t think much of it. Maybe she went to move the car or something.

Ten minutes later, the mom comes back… with fried chicken. They both proceed to eat chicken in the waiting room full of sick people until the daughter is called back. She is almost immediately discharged.

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