Thursday, August 6, 2009

I Can Now Retire as an Emergency Nurse--I Have Officially Seen It All

I've learned not to roll my eyes at a chief complaint when I pick up a chart in the ED. Whenever I have done this it always comes back to bite me in the ass.

Like the time I rolled my eyes when I saw the cc was "sliver". When I called the patient in I could not hide the 'are you kidding me?' in my voice when I asked him about the 'sliver' that brought him to the department.

He calmly rolled up his sleeve to reveal a piece of wood thicker than my thumb just under his skin from his wrist to elbow. Yeah, he worked in a lumber mill and a piece had gone flying off a piece of machinery and into his arm.


Lesson learned.

So today I picked up a chart and see "blisters on both feet" as the chief complaint.

I am starting my mental diatribe but then caught myself--assess the patient, he probably slipped and fell into some hot oil and has full thickness burns to his feet or something...

But no.

He had a blister on each foot from walking. Right on the heels.

I had to ask why it was an emergency.

"Because it hurts to walk on them so I called the nurse line and they told me to see a doctor".

*She throws in the towel and walks away, shaking her head*.


Rogue Medic said...

You didn't teach him to tip toe?

Where is your compassion?

Bostonian in NY said...

"Hiccups" is my favorite complaint- sometimes it's an inferior STEMI others it's just a guy who's wife is pissed off that he hasn't stopped hiccuping for 3 weeks.

Albinoblackbear said...

Rogue--My compassion is evidenced by the fact that I helped pay for his completely useless ER visit.

Let's hear it for the price we pay for publicly funded healthcare!


BINY--Hey, I am totally down with someone who presents with something like hiccups and turns out to be a STEMI. It's when someone presents with a blister on his foot which turns into a BLISTER on his foot that I am not down. :)