Wednesday, June 29, 2005


So tonight is my last nightriding shift for the month at the local community hospital. Of course, that means things had to get eventful. As you might have guessed from previous posts, the night is usually pretty quiet. Most patients have problems that really coulda waited until the light of day, but somehow fever and earaches just MUST been seen EMERGENTLY 'cause it is an EMERGENCY.

Not so with this patient. This one came in fighting to breathe - respiratory distress with grunting and decreasing mental status, to be medical about it. So the baby is sick as snot, and is getting all of the attention. Which is fine, nay, appropriate.

Unfortunately, this pisses off some of the other patients. Actually, not the patients, but the patients' parents. "Why isn't my child being seen - isn't s/he an emergency as well? Why does that patient get all of the attention? Huh? My baby is CLEARLY more important BLAH BLAH BLAH." All of this while the child is sitting comfortably eating Cheetos.

Right about now is when I want to scream, "Be fucking happy that your kid isn't dying. 'Cause guess what, that other one IS! Not metaphorically, not in a symbolic sorta way, but in a right-now-lets-intubate-and-maybe-start-pressors-and-give-blood-products kinda way. You know, the stuff you do right before starting fuckin' CPR."

But I don't. Why? 'Cause we're all better doctors, and better people, than that. People get frustrated. People get tired and I'm sure that a child who has been screaming for 72 hours grates on the last nerve like a monkey on crack. So I can understand being irate.

And just as an aside, who the fuck calls 911 for a crying 12 month old? No fever, not sick looking, got better with Motrin, totally consolable. By the time EMS arrived, Mom reported that the child was back to normal. Isn't that about the time that you call EMS back and tell 'em to forget about coming?

Oh well.

1 comment:

jac said...

It is tough.