I am a Registered Nurse, parent of three beautiful daughters. I was raised in Colorado and relocated to Hawaii in 1991. Here is my new avenue to express myself under the freedom of speech liberties, to process my thoughts, life events, share some sorrow, laughter and exchange ideas with my fellow nursing colleges. Change is a constant part of life that I welcome. I feel its NOT instability BUT a thirst for more; to grow,learn and explore! Please read the disclosure.


Back home in Colorado

Disclosure

  • The great HIPAA Goddess is respected here. All names have been changed in this blog to protect the guilty. Circumstances have been altered and some are downright fabrications.
  • Do not try any of these things at home. Do not constitute anything said here as "medical advise". Do not ask for any medical advise.

The opinions expressed are strictly the opinions of Isle_RN. If you don't like her opinions then make up some of your own



Monday, February 4, 2008

Rules for the Emergency Room

Here are some tips to those who may end up in an ER, be it yourself or a family member.

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If it requires the ambulance team and entire truck crew of firefighters to transport you and safely place you on a hospital stretcher, it is time to go on a diet.
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When you present to the triage nurse, do not tell him/her that your doctor called ahead. If you survey our waiting area, probably 50% of the people waiting said the same thing, and the other 50% use the ER as their regular doctor.
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Never start out by saying, "I was searching the Internet . . . "
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When asked how much you weigh, please do not give the "Deer-In-The-Headlights Look", and tell us you "really don't know". It's a simple question with a simple answer.
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Just because you have a phone and know how to call 911, we are not impressed by your arrival on an ambulance stretcher. You had better be sick.
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If you came escorted via EMS for multiple complaints that started more than one week ago and your entire family followed the ambulance to the hospital, you will be labeled a ninnie and treated like one, enjoy the waiting area with your family.
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One complaint/ailment per visit, please.
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Just because you came in on a ambulance, doesn't mean you're going home on one. You better start making arrangements, now. I am not driving you home, or figuring out how to get you home. Cab vouchers are not an option.
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If you have one of these four, go to your own doctor in the morning: A Migraine; the Flu; a stomach virus; or a stuffy nose.
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Do not ask us how long it will be. We don't know. I don't know what is coming through my door 30 seconds from now,so I sure as hell don't know when you're getting a room.
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We have priorities. We understand that you have been waiting for two hours in the waiting room. If you don't want to wait, make an appointment with a doctor. The little old lady that just walked in looking OK to you is probably having a massive heart attack. That is why she goes first.
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If your mother is a patient and we ask her a question, let her answer it.
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If your child has a fever, you had damn well better give him Tylenol® before coming in. DO NOT let the fever remain high just so I will believe the child has a fever. Do you want your child to have a seizure? Do you?
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If you are well enough to complain about the wait, you are well enough to go home.
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Do not utter the words "it is in my chart", I don't have your chart, and I don't have the time to call and get it. Just tell me. It is faster.
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We know how many times you've been to an ER. We can usually tell if you are faking it during the first 5 seconds of talking to you. Do not lie to us. If you lie about one thing, we will have to assume you are lying about everything. You don't want that.
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If you have diabetes and do not control it, you are committing slow suicide.
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If you are a female between 16 and 42 and your last period was between 28-35 days ago, please don't waste our time if you are here for Abdominal Pain & Vaginal bleeding. Guess what!!?? You got your period, again.
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Do not bring your entire posse with you. One person at the bedside is all you need. It is really difficult to move around seven people who are in the way if you are really sick.
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Every time I ask you a question, I learn more about what is wrong with you. I don't care if I asked you what day it is four different times. Each time I ask, it is for a reason. Just answer the questions, regardless whether you have answered them before.
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If you want something, be nice. I will go out of my way to piss off rude people.
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Our definition of sick is not your definition of sick. If a member of the ER staff says that someone is sick, it means that they are in the process of DYING. They have had a massive stroke, are bleeding out, having a heart attack, or have been shot. We don't consider a kidney stone, sick. Painful, yes. Sick, no.
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At any given time, one nurse has four patients. One doctor has up to 15.
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There is a law (similar to Murphy's) in the ER. If you have four patients: one of them will be sick (see above for definition); one of them will be whining constantly; one of them will be homeless; and one of them will a delightful patient. (don't be the whiner). Please.
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If you see someone pushing a big cart down the hall at full speed and you hear bells going off, do not ask for a cup of coffee. Someone is dying, you inconsiderate a*****e. In the ER, bells don't ring for nothing. Sit down, shut up, and let us work.
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If you can bi**h about the blood pressure cuff being too tight, or the IV hurting, you are not in that much pain.
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Physicians and nurses are not waiters. We are not customer service representatives. This is not McDonald's®, and you very well may NOT have it your way. Our job is to save your life, or at least make you feel better. If you want a pillow, two blankets, and the lights dimmed, go to the Ramada®.
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If you have any sort of stomach pain and you ask for something to eat, you are not sick.
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Do not talk s**t about the other members of staff I work with. The doctor that you hate? I work with him every day, and I know that he knows what he is doing. I trust him a lot more that I trust you. I am not here to be your friend, and neither is he. I will tell him what you said, and we will laugh about it. If you want a buddy, go somewhere else.
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If you are homeless, don't ask for a bus token or cab voucher to get home. It just confuses the staff.
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Please don't tell us how to do our job. Do we go to your place of business and tell you how to do your job?
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Please don't bring in a "show and tell". If you have to fish it out of the toilet, it's really not necessary to bring it in, we will take your word. If you did fish something out of the toilet, you may not use my pen.

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